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NAMI Hudson County's Monthly Newsletter

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

Celebrate Black History Month

by Loraina Calderon and Barbara Espinoza

Happy Black History Month! We at NAMI Hudson County are grateful for our #diverse community and hope to support more people in #bayonnenj #eastnewarknj #harrison #hoboken #jerseycity #kearny #northbergen #secaucus #unioncity #weehakwen #westnewyork

As we celebrate the accomplishments of generations of African Americans, it is also important to share information about the disparities in mental health in the African American community and resources that may help close the gap.

In this newsletter, we share some relevant articles, podcasts, and local events celebrating Black History Month.


The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. Read More Here


For Black Men, Barriers to Mental Health Care Can Be Complex

From Consider This podcast from NPR

January 14, 2023

The start of a new year can push us to think about how we take care of ourselves – our bodies or our minds. And for some people that can mean seeking help for mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

In some ways, being open about pursuing treatment for mental health concerns is becoming more commonplace. But seeking therapy may feel taboo for men who are socialized not to express vulnerability and keep emotions in check.

Black men must also contend with the long history of neglect and abuse that has influenced how generations of African-Americans feel about health services, a lack of Black mental health professionals, and the understanding that shielding emotions are a way to face the pressures and dangers of racism.

Host Michel Martins talks with writer Damon Young, author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays, and psychologist Earl Turner of Pepperdine University, on making therapy more accessible for Black men.

Below is a list of resources for Black Mental Health:


Volunteer Spotlight

by Loraina Calderon

Every last Monday of the month we are spotlighting our members. First up is me :)

Hi! I’m Loraina aka LC I have been volunteering my whole life for orgs like Relay for Life, Ronald McDonald’s House, Mutual Aid NYC, and Salvation Army. 🫶🏾 I joined NAMI because, as a consumer, I felt a strong need to talk more about the importance of taking care of yourself mentally. 🧠

I feel a drive to give back to Hudson County because I live here and see myself in others within the community every day. 😌 If I can sway one teen and prevent them from harming themselves, that would mean the world to me and mean my work is worth it!

I currently run a small marketing consultancy 💙 @callamedia_ and am running to become the next #MissNewJerseyUSA 👸🏾 I am excited to continue my work with #NAMI as an Ending the Silence presenter and social media manager!

If you ever need someone to talk to I am here! 🥰


February 9, 2023

The latest episode of the NAMI NJ podcast Hope Starts with Us, entitled Super Bowl of Mental Health - Athlete Well-Being features NFL players discussing their journeys with sports and mental health.

Summary of the episode from the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Just ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison Jr. speaks with former NFL players Marcus Smith II, Soul Cole and Zach Moore about their personal journeys with sports and mental health, how the incident with Damar Hamlin has affected the NFL community, and how everyone can play a role in supporting young athletes’ well-being. In honor of Black History Month, they also discuss the further stigmas faced around Black male mental health both on and off the field.

To listen to the podcast, visit this link:


Community Spotlight - Local Libraries

Hudson County's local libraries provide a variety of educational and creative opportunities for their patrons. Programs include children’s and adult programs such as job search assistance; tutoring and homework assistance; story time for young children; passes to local museums; ESL resources; citizenship classes, and, in some locations, fitness classes.

[Public Libraries} ... are public spaces valued and used by individuals and organizations, day shelters for at-risk populations, and points of access to computers and high-speed Wi-Fi internet for the one in five Americans without residential or smartphone access. Today, as in the past, public libraries bridge learning opportunities for children when public schools close for holidays and summer break.

Below is a spotlight on three upcoming events at local libraries, as well as links to all the libraries within Hudson County.



With 10 branches and a bookmobile, the Jersey City Public Library offers something for everyone.

On Wednesday, February 22 at 6:00 PM, the Miller Branch Library will proudly celebrate Black History Month with a live African Drum and Percussion show by Mookamilli Entertainment.

The event will take place at the Miller Branch Library (Auditorium) at 489 Bergen Avenue in Jersey City,

For More Information, please call (201)-547-4551

Below is a link to all Jersey City Public Library upcoming events:



Serving the residents of Guttenberg and North Bergen, the North Bergen Public Library (NBPL) has three locations which include the Main Branch, Kennedy Branch and Guttenberg Resource Center

On February 27 at 6 pm, NBPL will present a virtual event about how nutrition affects your heart's health with ShopRite dietitian Lynette Hem-Lee on Zoom! Register for access at

Below is a link to all the North Bergen Public Library upcoming events.



Located at 318 Kearny Ave in Kearny, NJ, the Kearny Public Library, offers museum passes* to patrons for a few local museums including the American Museum of Natural History, the Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM), the Newark Museum, and others. For more information, click this link: Museum Passes Kearny Public Library

On Saturday, February 25 from 10:30 am -12:30 pm, the Kearny Public Library will have Adult Coloring.

All adults are welcome to join in with this relaxing new trend! Materials will be provided by the Kearny Public Library located at 318 Kearny Ave., Kearny

Below is a link to all the Kearny Public Library upcoming events.

* Museum passes for library patrons are available at the following libraries: Harrison, Kearny, North Bergen, Secaucus, Union City, and Weehawken. The museum list varies by location.


Support Groups at NAMI Hudson County

NAMI Family Support Groups are free, peer-led support groups for family members, caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Attendees gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar circumstances.

NAMI Consumer Connections Support Group are free, peer-led support groups for adults living with mental illness. You will gain insight from hearing the challenges and successes of others experiences.

Groups meet on Zoom on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

REGISTER HERE for the February 21st meeting.


NAMI NJ Support Groups

NAMI NJ offers weekly support groups for family members and consumers. In addition, it offers multicultural outreach that includes:

From the NAMI NJ website:

AACT-NOW (African American), CAMHOP (Chinese American), NAMI NJ En Español (Latinx) and SAMHAJ (South Asian) are four NAMI NJ innovative multicultural programs that outreach to African American, Chinese American, Latinx and South Asian families with services in education, support and advocacy. The programs also provide education for mental health providers to help them better understand cultural and treatment issues relevant to these populations.
AACT-NOW (African American Mental Health Outreach) - AACT-NOW is a NAMI NJ initiative serving New Jersey’s African American communities which include individuals and families affected by mental illness, the faith community, and mental health professionals. AACT-NOW provides culturally competent support, education and advocacy in the northern, central and southern regions of New Jersey, through free services such as support groups, phone referral, community workshops and other outreach activities.
For more information, please visit this link:


NAMI Family and Friends - as part of NAMI Hudson County's Speaker Series

On March 14 at 7pm, NAMI Hudson County will host a NAMI Family & Friends presentation. This is a free 90-minute seminar that informs people who have loved ones with a mental health condition how to best support them. It’s also an opportunity to meet other people in similar situations and gain community support. The seminar is led by trained volunteers with lived experience of supporting a family member with a mental health condition. They will walk you through the following topics:

– Understanding diagnoses, treatment and recovery

– Effective communication strategies

– The importance of self-care- Crisis preparation strategies

– NAMI and community resources

Participants will receive a free E-book after attendance that explains many of the topics covered in the class in more detail. The e-book is available in English, Arabic, Farsi, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

To attend this presentation, please REGISTER HERE


NAMI Hudson will host a Family-To-Family 8-week course.

Beginning in April, NAM Hudson County will host a Family-To-Family 8-week course. The dates and registration information will be listed on our website in the coming week. Space is limited so please register early.

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. It is a designated evidenced-based program. This means that research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to a person with a mental health condition. Read more at the link below.


We Want to Hear From You - About Local Events

NAMI Hudson County attends community events throughout Hudson County where our volunteers provide mental health materials, share information about our support group meetings, and offer guidance to those in need. Last year we attended 15 events* around Hudson County. Our goal this year is to attend an event in each city within Hudson County.

To help us accomplish this goal, we need your help! If you know about a spring, summer, or fall event that happens in your community, please let us know!

You can email us details at or call us at 201-283-8776.


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