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New executive director of NAMI NJ has experience counseling youth, adults

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New Jersey (NAMI NJ), a leading voice on mental illness, announced that Meredith Masin Blount is the organization’s new executive director. 
“The Board of Directors is extremely pleased that their most highly rated candidate has accepted the position. She has many skills and brings a genuine enthusiasm and dedication needed for success,” Dr. Mark Perrin, president of the NAMI NJ Board of Directors, said in a prepared statement.
Most recently, Blount was the senior director of Youth Services for New Brunswick Tomorrow. Through this role, she managed the state’s largest School Based Youth Services Program – providing mental health counseling and youth development services to students in New Brunswick schools. The program has steadily grown over the past seven years and currently includes seven schools, serving more than 1,000 New Brunswick students yearly, according to the statement.
Prior to joining New Brunswick Tomorrow, Blount worked at the New Brunswick Housing Authority on the HOPE 6 Revitalization Grant, creating the Social Services Department within the agency. She also was an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer with the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance in Boston. 
She has a Bachelor of Science in sociology and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The College of New Jersey.
Blount is assuming the role upon the retirement in December of Sylvia Axelrod, the founding executive director of NAMI NJ.  
“It is impossible to put into words what Sylvia has done for NAMI NJ. From its inception, Sylvia has been the guiding light that has created the success it is today,” Blount said in the statement. “I am grateful for all she has done, and for the support she continues to provide the organization.
“NAMI NJ has more than three decades of proven advocacy, education and support for those affected by mental illness in New Jersey,” she continued. “I am humbled to join this historic legacy, and I look forward to building on the foundation and many successes NAMI NJ has built over the past 30-plus years.”
NAMI NJ is headquartered in North Brunswick but provides support services and programs for those with mental illness and their families across the state.
For more information, visit www.naminj.org.
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