November 2018 e-Newsletter
Make a plan to #Vote4MentalHealth
New Jersey is holding regular elections on Tuesday, November 6th for one U.S. Senate seat and 12 U.S. House seats and special elections for seven state house seats. One statewide ballot measure is also on the ballot. 

Life can get busy and November 6th (Election Day) is going to be here before you know it. That means that now is the time to start developing your voting plan so you don’t miss your opportunity to #Vote4MentalHealth in this important election. 

Can you answer these questions?
  • When does the polling place open? Where is it?
  • How are you getting there? Do you need a ride?
  • When are you going to vote? Before work? Mid-afternoon? In the evening?

There is no right or wrong way to cast your ballot. The most important thing is to find the way to vote that makes the most sense for you. Remember YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

Despite Democrats' domination of New Jersey politics in general, the state's 12 congressional districts are, at this point, relatively evenly distributed between the two major parties:  seven U.S. House seats are held by Democrats, five by Republicans . That's because, unlike in many other states, such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey uses a  bipartisan commission to draw U.S. House district boundaries rather than letting legislators do it. This tends to tamp down the worst  gerrymandering .
Now, because of a pair of  retirements of moderate longtime Republican representatives  and the  surge of energy  on the left, anywhere from two to five additional seats seem to be in play for the Democrats,  depending on which analyst  is doing the figuring.

In addition elections are being held for county offices and some municipal and School Board positions. Find out who is running . Voters can reach out to their respective County Election Office for information. Learn How Elected Officials Affect Mental Health Care in Your Community.

Polls open from 6am to 8pm on Tuesday, November 6.

Hotline Open on Election Day!
Disability Rights New Jersey will have a hotline open on Election Day from
7:00 am - 8:00 pm to answer questions concerning disability-related voting issues.
If you experience accessibility or discrimination issues when voting, or if you want to report an inaccessible voting location, please contact Disability Rights New Jersey at 1-800-922-7233 or
Join Us for the 2018 NAMI NJ Annual Conference!
NAMI New Jersey’s Annual Conference, 1 in 5: Youth Mental Health & Wellness , aims to provide valuable information on mental health to youth and families with lived experience of mental illness, as well as school staff and healthcare providers from all over New Jersey. Presentations will range from information on social and emotional learning, family support, advocacy, treatment to identifying resources and strategies for recovery. Exhibits and posters will feature NAMI resources as well as a range of community based resources. NAMI NJ’s mission of improving the lives of those affected by serious mental illness is central to this conference. High school and college students receive a special reduced registration rate of $25. For more information, call 732 940 0991 or email .  

Early bird professional/non-member rate ends today!
Volunteer of the Month
Congratulations to Dominga!
Dominga Gornell is a great asset to both NAMI Warren County and NAMI NJ, as she plays important roles in several NAMI Signature Programs, and shoulders a myriad of tasks for her county affiliate. In NAMI Warren County, Dominga has been the main facilitator for two NAMI Family Support Groups. She attended NAMI National's Family Support Group Facilitator Train the Trainer Workshop in Washington, DC. Since that time, Dominga has successfully coordinated two NJ State Trainings, resulting in 31 additional Family Support Group facilitators in the state. She worked on every aspect of the training, including logistics, ordering supplies, welcoming trainees and facilitating the two-day, emotionally intense workshop! Dominga is also a NAMI Family-to-Family instructor. She coached the NAMI Warren County Connection facilitators and gave them the extra tools to have a successful support group meeting. She is also instrumental as the newly elected Secretary of the affiliate, bringing with her high organizational skills. She created the first NAMI Warren County newsletter. She has been one of the best fundraisers for Team Warren in the NAMIWalks NJ for the past two years. Dominga meets her commitments as she balances family responsibilities and NAMI volunteering. Her enthusiasm and energy are infectious as she graciously shares her knowledge and understanding of what it is like to support a person living with mental illness. NAMI NJ is lucky to have such an incredibly dedicated volunteer as Dominga. She is truly an inspiration!
The important work that NAMI does on national, state and local levels is made possible by teams of volunteers aspiring to make an impact in their communities. NAMI NJ acknowledges the creative work and tireless efforts of dedicated volunteers across the state. " Volunteer of the Month " can be nominated by affiliates and statewide programs.

Program Highlights
School Education Program Training a Success!
A half-day training for NAMI New Jersey's Educating the Educators (ETE) program was successfully conducted by Lorrie Baumann, School Education Program Director, at the state office on October 17, 2018. 13 highly qualified trainees from diverse backgrounds completed the training and are ready to bring mental health and recovery awareness information to K-12 educators around the state. NAMI NJ is fortunate to have these amazing volunteers ready to make an impact in schools across New Jersey!
Family Support Group Facilitation Training
On September 29 and 30, a group of 15 NAMI volunteers were trained in the NAMI Family Support Group Model. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Some comments included:

"The training made me aware of my strengths and how a person can help others. The training was good, my positive experience can help other people with hope."

"Exercises and role plays were very good. Helped me understand the importance of principals of support."

"Awesome training. I will use this not only in NAMI facilitation but in my personal life."

"Useful information and powerful tools."

With well-equipped facilitators ready to serve your community, be sure to
NAMI NJ Recovery Programs
NAMI NJ’s three recovery programs are all continuing to operate and expand.

NAMI Connection  held two recent support group facilitator trainings. With the opening this week of the new NAMI Somerset Connection group, Connection is now running in 18 out of 21 counties with a new Connection group beginning in Cape May in 2019. Contact

NAMI In Our Own Voice  held a recent presenter training, and has assisted our existing volunteer presenters in upgrading their skills to match a new format. The new structure, focusing on What Happened, What Helps, and what’s Next is designed with two presentation lengths. The shorter version is designed to fit into a 40-minute middle- or high- school class period. We look forward to making presentations in the new format around NJ. Email to schedule a free presentation at

NAMI Hearts and Minds  presents its messages of integrating physical and mental wellness to a variety of audiences. In addition to our regular presentations to peer audiences (state and local hospital units, wellness centers, treatment centers, mobile treatment group gatherings), we are working with a variety of audiences outside the traditional boundaries of the mental health community, including senior groups, “welfare to work,” and post-corrections re-entry. All of our presentations address the  Eight Dimension of Wellness . Aiming the wide variety of topics which we address in specialized presentations are
·       Wellness Planning,  Recovery Library , and  Advance Directives
·        Coaching Approaches
·        T he Harvard Healthy Eating Plate
·        Supporting Socialization
Email to schedule a free presentation at .
Multicultural Outreach Programs Shine!
NAMI NJ's AACT-NOW was honored at the Links of Central New Jersey, Autumn Leaves Awards Luncheon on October 14, for the program's long-time success in outreach and service to the community. Congratulations!
The Annual SAMHAJ Celebration was successfully held on October 27. Families and provider volunteers were honored for their contributions. Amazing community dancers performed at the luncheon.
Shawen Ilaria, a child psychiatrist resident at Rutgers UBHC and CAMHOP provider volunteer, presented a poster on CAMHOP at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Seattle on October 22. Great work!
NAMI NJ en Espanol's Family-to-Family Education Class in Spanish is in full swing in North Bergen. Several program members are attending a caregiver wellness session in Piscataway hosted by Rutgers UBHC and NJDMHAS.
Affiliate Roundup
NAMI Burlington
In observance of the Mental Illness Awareness Week, NAMI Burlington County hosted a booth in Moorestown Festival on October 13 by the Community House where the affiliate now resides.

Thanks to NAMI Burlington County's advocacy efforts, the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Burlington proclaimed October 7 through October 13, 2018 as Mental Health Awareness Week, to shine a light on mental illness and fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Great outreach and advocacy work!
NAMI Middlesex
Annual Fundraiser - All You Can Eat
November 4, 2018, 11 am - 1 pm
Outback Steakhouse, 481 Rte. 1 South, Edison, NJ 07716 
$25 per person
Space is limited, reserve your tickets today!

NAMI Middlesex is hosting their annual fundraiser at the Outback Steakhouse in Edison. All funds raised will be used to provide events throughout Middlesex county such as adult social club, support groups for families, educational programs, the wellness fair, annual dinner meeting and much more. Send your check to NAMI Middlesex or email 
NAMI Greater Monmouth
NAMI Greater Monmouth  is proud to share their successes, including:
  • Finishing their 31st Monmouth County run of NAMI Family-to-Family
  • Finishing the steps for re-affiliation
  • Partnering with Family-Based Services Association and Rutgers UBHC to offer a Caregiver Wellness Event on November 27, Eatontown.
  • Major updates to their website, including a convenient Google Calendar plug-in which allows everyone to stay current on their groups, programs, and events
  • Issuing a major update of their What Helps recovery resource document
  • Planning for a possible spring six-week course based on that document
Volunteers Wanted for Rutgers Research Study
Rutgers UBHC's Dr. Steven Silverstein is looking for volunteers for an evaluation study of the back of the eye, or retina, to flashes of light using a test called an electroretinogram (ERG). No medication or intervention is involved. View flyer.

  • People within the age range of 18-50 and a diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Bipolar I Disorder may be eligible.
  • The study involves 4 appointments each about 1-2 hours, including the use of interviews and ERG testing.
  • Participants will be compensated at $20/hour for each appointment; transportation costs are paid for by the study.

For more information, or to see if you qualify, please call Nancy Tiffany at (732) 235-4592.
NIMH Research Updates
Webinar: Coping Strategies for Anxious Kids, What Parents Need to Know
On Friday, November 2, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., join NIMH for a webinar on coping strategies for anxious kids. During the webinar, Dr. Erin Berman will discuss how to identify an anxious child; how to change anxious thinking; the science and biological roots of anxiety in children; how computer technology is transforming the understanding of anxiety; and current treatment options (medications & CBT: cognitive behavioral therapy). Register here
Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for Senior Living Communities - Now Available in Spanish
This toolkit—now available in Spanish--helps senior centers integrate suicide prevention into activities that support well-being is now available. It describes activities that increase protective factors and explains how to recognize the warning signs of suicide. More>>
Crisis Intervention Team Methods for Using Data to Inform Practice: A Step-By-Step Guide
This guide helps local systems use data to implement Crisis Intervention Team programs that can improve the safety and effectiveness of law enforcement response to people experiencing behavioral health crises. Learn more>>
Fact Sheet: Overview of Law Enforcement Mental Health Resources
This fact sheet provides an overview of Bureau of Justice Assistance resources and initiatives about the intersection of criminal justice and mental health.  Learn more>>
Blog Post: Identifying Veterans at Highest Risk for Suicide
This blog post describes the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) outreach program aimed at predicting who may be at highest risk for suicide and intervening before a suicide occurs. The program is REACH VET, or Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health – Veterans Enhanced Treatment. It uses predictive modeling and medical record data to identify Veterans at highest risk for suicide.  Learn more>>
NIMH Outreach Partner in New Jersey
NAMI New Jersey is one of the 55 Outreach Partner organizations of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to conduct mental health outreach and education for the public, health professionals, K-12 schools, minorities and other populations such as youth and older adults using mental health-related information provided by NIMH or other sources. We distribute NIMH information with publications online and community outreach. Feel free to contact us at and let us know how we can help your community better access the most recent NIMH material!

Friendly Reminder: 2019 Open Enrollment is here
Marketplace Open Enrollment Nov. 1 - Dec. 15
Now is the time to visit  for this year’s Open Enrollment and to review your 2019 plan options.
Support NAMI NJ while shopping for the holidays!