Educating the Educators

The “Educating the Educators” (ETE) Program is an initiative developed by NAMI NJ and reviewed by New Jersey Psychiatric Association (NJPA) and the New Jersey Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (NJCCAP) to help K-12 educators understand children and youth with biologically-based mental illnesses. ETE, copyrighted by NAMI NJ, is the only NJ program dedicated solely to educating teachers about mental illness in the classroom.

“Educating the Educators” is presented by a medical professional, an educator, and a parent. During an ETE session, presenters provide an overview of practical tools to help motivate children and youth with social and emotional disorders, including ADD, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder and Anxiety Disorders, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), as well as Autism. Topics will include symptoms, treatment, collaboration, resources, referrals, stigma, empathy and accommodations.

ETE programs are flexible and can vary in presentation time from 2 to 3 hours. NAMI NJ is registered as a Provider of Continuing Education Credits (CEUS) for ETE. Presentations can be tailored to the needs of a particular school or school district with respect to cultural competency, the specific disorders addressed, the composition of the presentation team and resources provided.

• Part I – The Biological Nature of Mental Illness (presented by a medical professional)
Mental illnesses are biological brain disorders. They are not caused by poor parenting skills, or weaknesses of character. Learn the facts and the fiction of childhood-onset mental illness.

• Part II – Where Do We Go from Here? (presented by an experienced educator)
Learn what resources/tools are available to the school, the students, and to the families that will lead to a more enriching experience for everyone involved in guiding each child toward a successful future.

• Part III – The Family Perspective (presented by a family member)
Mental illness has a devastating effect on the child as well as the family. Most families are very devoted and work tirelessly to help their seriously ill children understand, cope, and persevere in spite of everyday challenges. Experience a walk in their shoes.

Some comments by recent attendees include:

• Best presentation I have ever been to.” Educator, NJEA Convention
• Down to earth. Great resources.” Special Education Supervisor, Burlington County
• Each speaker was dynamic and rich with realistic personal experience. This really helped me recognize where I could improve working with my students.” Teacher, NJ Juvenile Justice Comm.
• I learned more at this presentation than all my prior training.” Educator, NJEA Convention
• Well organized. Each speaker was well prepared, knowledgeable, with good style.” K-8 Educator, Millburn PS
• The three viewpoints were strengths. All different and important.” K-6 Educator, Mine Hill Twp SD
• Excellent presentation from various perspectives.” Administrator, Paterson School #3
• Strategies sound and contemporary.” High School Teacher, Carteret School District


NAMI NJ is registered with the NJ Department of Education as a provider of
Professional Development credit hours for Educating the Educators (ETE).

ETE Program Flyer (PDF)


The cost of a presentation is $750 and can accommodate up to 80-100 participants. Allow 2 months to schedule a presentation. For further information and to schedule a presentation, please email [email protected].
Our team is preparing for exciting updates to the ETE program to meet educators’ needs in a post-pandemic world.