Changing Minds, Advancing Mental Health for Hispanics/NAMI NEW JERSEY

Family-to-Family Project


The New Jersey Mental Health Institute, Inc. (NJMHI) in collaboration with NAMI NEW JERSEY (formerly the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of New Jersey) proposes to achieve consensus for the implementation of NAMI national’s exemplary practice, the Family-to-Family Education program, in eight urban communities spanning six different counties in the State of New Jersey.  The program will be geared to Hispanics, the fastest growing and largest ethnic minority group in our state and nation, and be made available for the first time ever in this state in Spanish.  The overall goal of the project is:  to build consensus for family education and support for families of persons with mental illness in eight cities, primarily urban communities, spanning the six highest Hispanic populated counties.  The NJMHI intends to accomplish this by sensitizing the community to the needs of persons with mental illness and their families particularly as they relate to the educational needs of families.  Secondly, it will achieve this by introducing an educational and supportive approach to informing families about mental illness.

To achieve consensus in urban communities within the Hispanic community, the NJMHI and NAMI NEW JERSEY will work closely with numerous key stakeholders such as the State of New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services Office of Multicultural Services; the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development; the Hispanic Directors Association; local community-based Hispanic organizations; local religious groups within the targeted communities; and local mental health providers within the targeted communities.  The project will also use a five-stage readiness to change model.  With the model, it will assess how prepared each community is to accept family education in the form of the Family-to-Family through the use of key informant interviews, focus groups, stakeholder meetings and other meetings.  By involving each community in consensus building activities, it will strive to create a climate of acceptance regarding mental illness.

The NJMHI and NAMI NEW JERSEY are committed to providing education and support to the Hispanic families of persons with mental illness.  This project will enable us to build consensus to engage Hispanic families of persons with mental illness in an educational project in areas that historically have had few resources for information, education and support.  Support for the stress and burden Hispanic families experience is truly needed.  We believe that our project will be a positive outlet for Hispanic families in our targeted communities, and among other things bring them education, relief, and empowerment.   

Program Contact Person: 

Henry Acosta, MA, MSW, LSW

Project Director

Changing Minds, Advancing Mental Health for Hispanics

(609) 838-5488, ext. 205      – Telephone

(609) 838-5489 – Facsimile    – E-mail









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