No Stigma Network Mental Health Support Group Monmouth County NJ
NSN was established in 2009 as a simple self-help support group for young adults, ages 18 to 25. Founded by Shrabanee Shah, a Monmouth County mental health advocate, NSN has evolved into a growing 501(c)(3) NJ nonprofit corporation offering multiple free programs for its members. The age limit was opened up and the organization now provides social events and cultural and enrichment experiences in addition to the peer support meetings.
“NSN was my dream, my hope, my wish where taking “no” or “I can’t” for an answer is not an option but “yes” and ‘I can” and “I will” is THE acceptable option. My vision was focusing on assisting young adults who battle the challenges of mental illness, and who have the desire to be productive, happy, healthy, and independent members of their society, and of their culture, through support, education, outreach, and advocacy.” – Shrabanee Shah
Each one of the support group members – also called “survivors” – has a vision to be independent and live a healthy and productive life. Some of our survivors are in college or other educational programs. Some are employed and others do volunteer work. Each one of the young adults is remarkable in their own way, surmounting the challenges of mental illness with their own strategies and perseverance.
No Stigma Network is dedicated to eliminating stigma and bias associated with mental illness through support, advocacy, education, and outreach.
Peer Support Group Meetings
Our support groups are organized by age: 18 – 30, and 30 and over. The developmental needs of each group are addressed in discussions with peers, led by trained, caring facilitators. Individuals are encouraged to express themselves in a non-judgmental, confidential, and caring atmosphere. While our principal objective is to focus on the needs of young adults, NSN provides continuing support for adults of any age who have mental health challenges.
NSN support group meetings were always in-person, providing optimal conditions for effective interaction, communication, and support. However, the pandemic created the need for alternative meeting modes. NSN survivors have been meeting online consistently since March 2020. As restrictions subside, in-person meetings will resume. Online meetings will continue to be an option.
NSN’s programs and goals for our survivors include:
- Encouraging good, personal health practices
- Maintaining a young adult support system where members are encouraged to discuss issues in a confidential, safe and non-judgmental environment.
- Supporting healthy financial responsibility
- Involving members in outreach to the community to increase awareness of mental health challenges, and to inform the public about resources including NSN’s programs
- Providing a forum for discussion and input from local organizations and mental health professionals for improving local and state health policies and programs.
- Offering diverse social, cultural, and enrichment experiences
NSN always welcomes new members….Survivors!