NAMI NJ April 2019 Newsletter

NAMI NJ April 2019 Newsletter

April 2019 e-Newsletter

May, Mental Health Awareness month, is a time to shine a light on mental illness and replace stigma with hope. At NAMI we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. 

One in five adults experiences a mental illness each year. Those problems can contribute to onset of more serious long-term conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Approximately one-half of chronic mental illness begins by age 14. Unfortunately, long delays—sometimes decades—often occur between the time symptoms first appear and when people get help. 

It is critical to learn to recognize early symptoms of mental illness and talk with a doctor about any concerns. Early identification and treatment can make a big difference for successful management of a condition. Mental Health conditions are NOT cause by personal weaknesses, lack of character, or a poor upbringing. They ARE medical conditions that can impact a person’s thinking, feeling or mood and may affect his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. Genetics, the structure of the brain, environment and lifestyle can all impact mental health. Treatment works. 

Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Jacy Murphy-Park!

Jacy Murphy-Park is the kind of person that every NAMI affiliate wishes they had on their Board. Jacy joined NAMI Greater Bergen's Board in the summer of 2018 after reaching out to the affiliate and expressing a desire to become involved in NAMI activities. When Jacy realized that we were short on volunteers, she jumped right in to assist. Jacy attended one or two Board meetings before she contacted Meredith Masin Blount, NAMI NJ Executive Director, and Phil Lubitz, Associate Director, to find out what needed to be done for the affiliate's re-affiliation process. With her organizational and technological skills, Jacy did all the legwork to get NAMI Greater Bergen through the process. Apart from re-affiliation, Jacy has helped the affiliate grow in capacity. After graduating from the NAMI Family to Family education course, she recruited other families to join the Board, one of whom is now the affiliate's Family to Family Coordinator. The entire team at NAMI Greater Bergen is so appreciative of Jacy and all that she's done. Well deserved!

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.

There are statewide and local events scheduled during May. Be sure to join them and be part of the movement and positive change!

Two Sports Events Benefiting NAMI NJ and Local Affiliates This Spring!

Buy Patriots Tickets

Buy Red Bulls Tickets

Wednesday, May 1 -

NAMI's WhyCare? campaign will go live to the public! Each year NAMI fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. This May, the WhyCare? campaign demonstrates the power of care to make a life-changing impact on those affected by mental health conditions. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 1 - 

2019 NAMI NJ Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts Mental Health Poetry Contest will officially open voting portal and call members and friends to help pick the Top Three Poems. All poems entered into the contest will be showcased on NAMI NJ's Poetry Corner in the coming months.

Thursday, May 2 -

NAMI NJ's South Asian Outreach Program, SAMHAJ, hosts a "Power of Poetry" Workshop by Jacquese Armstrong to celebrate the impact of creativity and art on our lives.

Sunday, May 5 - Join NAMIWalks Mercer County at Educational Testing Service (ETS), Princeton to raise mental health awareness and funds for important work done by NAMI Mercer!

Weekend, May 4 & 5 -

In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, Rutgers Chinese Student Organization (CSO) organizes a ChinaNite Fashion Show fundraiser in New Brunswick benefiting NAMI NJ's Chinese American Outreach Program, CAMHOP. The event draws around 200 students.

Monday, May 6 -

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School & its Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association host an Asian American mental health awareness workshop in Newark for first year medical students. Speakers include Dr. Priyanka Upadhyaya, PsyD, and NAMI NJ Asian Outreach Programs Staff, Maggie Luo & Beena Bhatcar.