February 2019 Newsletter
NAMI Sussex envisions a community where those impacted by mental illness obtain the help, support and hope they require to achieve resiliency, recovery and wellness.
Please help spread the word about the two family-education courses which start this month!
As announced in our January newsletter, we will offer NAMI’s 12-session “Family-to-Family” course on Thursday evenings starting on February 21, 7:00-9:30 p.m., in Franklin.  This highly renowned free course helps family members and close friends learn how to better understand, support and advocate for their loved ones with mental illness.  To register for the course, call Michelle at 973-417-1783. Click  here  for flyer.

Additionally, we are proud to sponsor, for the first time, a 12-session course called “Family Connections,” specifically for those who have a family member with Borderline Personality Disorder.  This skills-based course, provided by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD), will meet in Newton on Sunday evenings, 6:30-8:30 p.m., starting on Sunday, Feb. 24.  To register, go to the NEABPD website at  https://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.org/family-connections/family-connections-pre-registration-form/ . Click here for flyer.

Both courses still have plenty of seats available. Please help spread the word by printing out a few copies of both flyers (see links above) and bringing them to the attention of your medical general practitioner, your mental health professional, as well and your clergyperson.  You can also post the flyers on library and supermarket bulletin boards.  This is a very important and easy way you can be a mental health advocate and help NAMI Sussex accomplish its mission.
FREE SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS - JUST SHOW UP!
NAMI Family Support and Information Meeting   (1st Tuesday of every month)
Support, information and referral for family members/friends who have a loved one with mental illness.
Monday, February 5, 2019, 7-9 p.m.
Newton Medical Center, 175 High St., Newton, NJ
(Enter through the main entrance and ask at the Reception Desk to be directed to the Emergency Department Conference Room .)

NAMI Connection Support Group  ( 2nd and 4th Monday of every month, excluding legal holidays)
For adults who have experienced mental health challenges.
Monday, February 11, 2019, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Monday, February 25, 2019, 6:00-7:30 p.m. .
(followed by informal conversation from 7:30-8 p.m)
A Way to Freedom Wellness Center, 29 Trinity St, Newton, NJ 07860  
(Parking lot and entrance at rear of Mitchell Agency Building on the corner of Trinity and Moran Streets.)  

Parent/Guardian Support Group  (4th Tuesday of every month)
For parents/guardians of children and teens with emotional, behavioral, or mental health challenges, in collaboration with Family Partners of Morris & Sussex Counties.  
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Family Partners Community Center, 67 Spring Street, Newton, NJ
(Use Spring Street entrance)

For veterans, police and first responders recovering from post-traumatic stress as a result of their service.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Bridgeway, 93 Stickles Pond Road, Newton, NJ 

Family-to-Family Alumni Support Group (3rd Tuesday of every month)
For those who have completed our Family-to-Family course.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Bridgeway, 93 Stickles Pond Road, Newton, NJ  
(For more information, call Toni at  973-786-5507 )
ENDING THE SILENCE PROGRAM UPDATE
This past fall, NAMI Sussex added “Ending the Silence” (ETS) to our list of NAMI programs available in Sussex County.  The purpose of the program is to raise mental health awareness among middle school, high school, and community college students, to teach students where they can turn for help, to open up the conversation about mental health, and to take a stand against stigma.  Sussex is one of just two NAMI affiliates offering the program in New Jersey, the other being NAMI Mercer.  

For each ETS presentation, a “lead” presenter uses a PowerPoint with embedded videos to explain mental health facts, typical warning signs of mental health conditions, and resources available to youth.  Then a “young adult” presenter tells the students their personal story of recovery from a mental health condition.  This is the most powerful piece of the presentation, helping the students realize that people with mental health conditions can lead happy and successful lives.

Finding young adults between 18 and 35 years of age who are willing and able to volunteer their time to talk to students has been a challenge for program coordinators Ria Smith and Jeri Doherty. The program only had two young adult volunteers until Saturday, January 26, when Ria and Jeri were pleased to welcome a new young adult to the NAMI Sussex ETS family, Alexandra Zeng.
Alex resides in Hunterdon County, works full-time for a law firm leading its Marketing & Business Development Department, serves as Recording Secretary on the Board of NAMI Hunterdon, chairs the Hunterdon County Mental Health Board, and volunteers in several NAMI New Jersey programs. Despite her busy schedule, Alex is excited to volunteer in Sussex County to help with our Ending the Silence program when needed. We are very lucky to have her on board as an ETS young adult presenter, joining Alana Michaels and Stephanie Blake.   
COMMUNITY EVENTS

RELAPSE PREVENTION & REHOSPITALIZATION Workshop - Understanding Your Role as a Caregiver. For families of individuals with a mental health condition . Please join IFSS Sussex on Feb. 27th from 6:30-8:30. p.m . in a discussion group designed to help caregivers identify early warning signs and intervene with techniques that may help reduce the risks.  Registration is free but requested. To register, please call 973-579-4399 ext. 606 or email cparmelee@mhaessexmorris.org Click here for flyer.

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID 8 hour course - March 12th & 14th, 1-5 p.m. at Sussex County Community College, $35
Click here for information and registration.
FREE ONLINE EVENTS

Tues., Feb. 12  – BBRF Webinar – “Early Detection and Prevention of Psychotic Disorders: Ready for “Prime Time”?” Register here .
NAMI NJ POETRY CONTEST

Contest submission deadline is April 1, 2019. For contest details, click here .
NAMI Sussex helps out at Kittatinny High Community Awareness Night  

The senior class Health students of Kittatinny Regional High School hosted a “Community Awareness Night” on Wed., January 23. Groups of students prepared display tables on a wide variety of health-related topics. Each group was encouraged to invite a community volunteer to help answer visitors’ and students’ questions about the health condition represented at their table. NAMI Sussex members and friends stepped up to send representatives to cover the mental health topics of Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Depression in Teens, Suicide Prevention, PTSD and Schizophrenia. Carrie Parmelee and Lois Kiensicki, representing both IFSS and NAMI, were asked to give a brief talk on the topic of Schizophrenia. Other NAMI Sussex volunteers were Jeri Doherty, Ria Smith, Bob Cubby, John Drinkard, and Sparta psychotherapist Susan Williams. The Kittatinny students expressed their sincere appreciation for our presence at the event, which drew hundreds of parents and students.
NAMI Sussex
P.O. Box 652, Sparta, NJ 07871
Tel no. 973-214-0632
NAMI Sussex is an all-volunteer 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides support, education, and advocacy throughout the Sussex County, New Jersey area on behalf of individuals and families affected by mental illness.