NAMI New Jersey programs

NAMI NJ coordinates a variety of programs to provide education on mental illness. These programs make it possible for people with mental illness, family members, health care providers, educators, law enforcement officers, and the general public to learn the facts about mental illness.

NAMI Family-To-Family

NAMI Family-To-Family is a peer family education program designed to foster learning, healing and empowerment among families of individuals with serious mental illness. The curriculum focuses on major psychiatric illnesses and emphasizes the clinical treatment of these illnesses. The curriculum also presents the knowledge and the skills that family members need when faced with the problems of mental illness. There is no fee to participants. NAMI NJ provides the training for the NAMI NJ Family Educator volunteers and the funding for course materials.


NAMI In Our Own Voice

NAMI In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is developed nationally and sponsored around the state by NAMI NJ, designed to train individuals with lived experience of various mental health conditions, to give presentations about their illness and recovery. The program is a powerful tool for community education and reducing stigma by putting a human face on an often misunderstood area of human suffering.


NAMI Family Support Group

NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for family members, caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar circumstances.


NAMI Connection

NAMI Connection is a weekly recovery support group for people living with mental illness in which people learn from each others’ experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding.


NAMI Basics

NAMI Basics is a NAMI signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses. The course is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness in childhood. All instruction and course materials are free to class participants.


School Education Programs

NAMI NJ School Education Programs goals are to educate children and adults about mental health and mental illness and to provide educators with knowledge and strategies that help children and teens succeed in school and lead successful lives. Its programs have been developed in partnership with the NJ Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the NJ Psychiatric Association.

• Educating the Educators

• Every Mind Matters


NAMI Smarts for Advocacy

Passionate and devoted, mental health advocates don’t always know the most effective way to tell their stories and present the facts to encourage legislative action. This training is designed to create a skills based effective advocates.


Family Partnership Program 

The DOH is collaborating with NAMI New Jersey to develop a Family Partnership Program, in all four of our State Psychiatric Hospitals.

NAMI NJ is collaborating with the DBH to develop and run a Family Partnership program designed in conjunction with the Family Liaisons in each hospital. The goal of the program is to address any issues related to patient and family satisfaction, and to develop a process to communicate and implement any improvement activities. Additionally, NAMI NJ will provide their services to family members with a hospitalized loved one as part of the program.


Hearts and Minds

Research has demonstrated that people living with severe psychiatric conditions may have an increased risk of heart disease and related conditions. NAMI New Jerseys Hearts & Minds program seeks to raise awareness and provide information on diabetes, diet, exercise, and smoking.


Multicultural Outreach

As a self-help organization, NAMI NJ is especially sensitive to the concept of mutual caring and responsibility implicit in family relationships and reaching out in that context to families from various cultures that are affected by serious mental illness.

AACT-NOW (African American Community Together NOW)

CAMHOP-NJ (Chinese American Mental Health Outreach Program in New Jersey)

NAMI NJ EN ESPAÑOL (Latino and Hispanic communities)

SAMHAJ (South Asian Mental Health Awareness Program)

“Documenting Our Presence: Multicultural Experiences of Mental Illness”


Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts Network

The NAMI NJ Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts Network promotes opportunities for creative efforts to lessen the stigma surrounding mental illness, provides opportunities for artists and writers affected by mental illness to showcase their work, and promotes the use of the expressive arts as a mode of self expression.


Veterans Information Program

NAMI New Jersey’s focus for veterans support is educating its members and the mental health community on veterans and their families’ unique needs and culture, supporting veterans and/or their families with serious mental illnesses, and working in cooperation and coordination with New Jersey State and Federal Veterans Affairs leadership to advocate for veteran services.


Law Enforcement Education

The NAMI NJ Law Enforcement Education Program is dedicated to ensuring that law enforcement officers and recruits receive mental illness education, and to promoting cooperation and communication between county criminal justice and mental health systems throughout the state.


Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) Awareness Project

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is an involuntary movement disorder that is characterized by uncontrollable, abnormal, and repetitive movements of the face, torso, and/or other body parts. TD is associated with prolonged use of certain mental health medicines (antipsychotics) that can be used to treat bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder.


COVID-19 Support and Resources

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NAMI NJ’s core programming swiftly moved online. A new webinar series was launched to provide timely help to the community at large on various topics related to the unprecedented public health crisis, mental health, and wellness. Federal, state, and local resources are provided on this centralized webpage.


NAMI New Jersey Awards

NAMI NJ presents awards to recognize the efforts of mental health advocates to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness. These award are presented to affiliate leaders, individuals and families affected by mental illness, community leaders, mental health service providers, law enforcement officers, educators, legislators, media – in short anyone who steps up to make a difference!