2018 Annual Conference

The 2018 NAMI NJ Annual Conference was a grand success, with about 300 attendees from across state gathering to learn and discuss about the important topic of youth mental health and wellness. Attendees include student leaders, parents, school administrators and teachers, mental health advocates, state officials, providers, and members of crisis intervention team. The meaningful discussions and effective networking among participants of diverse roles, ethnicity and platforms has created great synergy, new forces and alliances. Through dialogue, we can help grow the movement and effect the paradigm shift from a crises-response mode to a prevention and wellness focused model in promoting youth mental health.

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8:30 AM    Breakfast

9:15 AM    Introduction and welcome

Laura L. Bryant, Esq., President, NAMI NJ

Meredith Masin Blount, Executive Director, NAMI NJ

9:30 AM    Opening Remarks

Valerie L. Mielke, MSW, Assistant Commissioner, Division of Mental Health & Addiction Services

9:45 AM    Panel Discussion: Youth Mental Health & Wellness (click here for bios)

Tricia Baker, Attitudes In Reverse, Co-Founder, Program Director, Certified Youth Mental Health First Aider

Diana Chao, Letters to Strangers, Founder & Executive Director

Jane Clementi, Co-Founder, Tyler Clementi Foundation

Zaynab Khan, Psy.D, Staff Psychologist, Counseling, Alcohol & Other Drug Assistance and Psychiatric Services, Rutgers

Shondelle C. Wills-Bryce, MSW, Administrator, Office of School Linked Services, NJ Department of Children and Families

10:45 AM   Break

11:00 AM   Morning Workshops (click here for list)

12:15 PM   Lunch

1:15 PM     Keynote: Leveraging Emotional Intelligence & Culturally Responsive Practices for Thriving Students

Dena N. Simmons, Ed.D., CHES, Assistant Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is the assistant director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, where  she oversees training, coaching, and education initiatives at the Center.

Dena has published several articles on teacher education, social justice pedagogy, education reform, and bullying. She has been invited to speak at the United Nations, two TEDx talks, and a TED talk on Broadway. Dena has been profiled in the AOL/PBS project, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, and a Beacon Press Book, Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists.  Dena is a recipient of a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a J. William Fulbright Fellowship, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, and a Phillips Exeter Academy Dissertation Fellowship among others. Read more about Dena here.

2:30 PM     Afternoon Workshops (click here for list)

3:15 PM     Break

3:30 PM     Learning the Science of Self Care (click here for bios)

George H. Brice, Jr., MSW, Independent Consultant

Susan Gould Fogerite, Ph.D, MT (ASCP) SC, CYT, Associate Professor, Clinical Laboratory & Medical Imaging Sciences & Physician Assistant Studies & Practice, Rutgers School of Health Professions

Peggy Swarbrick, Ph.D, Director, Wellness Institute, CSP-NJ; Director of Practice Innovation & Wellness, Rutgers UBHC

4:15 PM     Closing


This conference is made possible by our sponsors











Lumos, LLC