Support Groups

NAMI Mercer

NAMI Mercer is our local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is the 
largest education, support and advocacy organization that serves the needs of all whose lives are touched by these illnesses. This includes persons with mental illness, their families, friends, employers, the law enforcement community and policy makers. The NAMI organization is composed of approximately 1100 local affiliates, 50 state offices and a national office.

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with an illness you often feel alone and uncertain. I suggest that anyone who is affected by a brain based biological disorder or other emotional illness contact NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In the Princeton area we have NAMI Mercer, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness by providing education, mutual support and advocacy.  They are the only organization in Mercer County dedicated to supporting the families of mental health consumers. I am president of the board and recommend NAMI Mercer to our patients as they offer free educational courses on the different illnesses affecting our children and adults as well as support groups for parents, children and your adult who have been affected by brain based biological disorders. For more information about NAMI and their services call their Helpline at 1-609-799-8994.

William P. Hayes, M. D.


NAMI Mercer's P
rograms and Services

Family to Family Education Course

Join us for a free 30 hour course designed for families and friends of adult individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. (2 ½ hrs per week for 12 weeks) For further information, please e-mail Linda McGrath at or go to Family to Family

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NAMI Basics is the new signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses.  The program was developed around elements that have been extensively tested and found to be highly effective in the field, including:

  • Recognition of mental illness as a continuing traumatic event for the child and the family
  • Sensitivity to the subjective emotional issues faced by family caregivers and well children in the family
  • Recognition of the need to help ameliorate the day-to-day objective burdens of care and management
  • Gaining confidence and stamina for what can be a lifelong role of family understanding and support
  • Empowerment of family caregivers as effective advocates for their children

The NAMI Basics course is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years.  All instruction and course materials are free to class participants.

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Just Friends Social Program

Just Friends is a group of NAMI Mercer members who are living with mental illness and who meet regularly for social activities. With minimal support from the NAMI Mercer and a few relatives, they plan, coordinate and schedule weekly social activities that include: bowling gatherings, pizza parties, theatrical and sports events, movie afternoons and sometimes bigger adventures like tubing down the Delaware. Every Friday night is walking night in Princeton. Families join them at picnics and holiday parties. They give each other understanding, acceptance, camaraderie, and grounds for self-esteem that can elude them in other settings.

For further information, please e-mail Phyllis Wilmot at
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NAMI CARE is a mutual support group for individuals facing the challenges of recovering from serious and persistent mental illness. Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorder are only a few of the diagnoses of people who have found a supportive place within NAMI CARE.The group meets monthly on the 2nd and 3rd Mondays of the month from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at the Nami office. The group is facilitated by mental health consumers trained as facilitators. For further information, please call or email the NAMI office at

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WRAP is a structured mutual support group for individuals recovering from serious and persistent mental illness. Over an eight week period, participants follow a work plan that focuses on development of skills and behaviors that support each person's wellness. The program was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland and is widely utilized around the country. Facilitators are consumers trained in this method.  The group meets once monthly on the first Monday of the month. Participants must make a commitment to attend all sessions. The program is offered several times a year. Once each group begins, it is closed to new members. For further information, please call or email the NAMI office at
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Helpline: Information and Referral, Telephone Support and Consultation

Helpline volunteers are family members themselves. There is also a licensed mental health professional on staff. People can call us Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, to find answers to many questions family members and consumers have about how to navigate through the mental health service delivery system, at 1-609-799-8994

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Alexander Road Associates
707 Alexander Road,
Building 2, Suite 202
Princeton, New Jersey 08540 

Phone: 609-419-0400
Fax# (609) 419-9200

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