Mendham Borough Joins Morris County Stigma Free Movement

Mendham Borough welcome signThe Mendham Borough Council has voted to join the Morris County “Stigma Free’’ initiative, passing a resolution to make Mendham the 18th town in Morris County to join the countywide effort to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

Mendham joins recently announced participants, Mountain Lakes, Roxbury, and Washington Township as Stigma Free communities in Morris County.

Other participants are the town of Boonton, Boonton Township, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover, Jefferson, Long Hill, Madison, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Parsippany, Rockaway Borough and Rockaway Township

Sparta in Sussex County has joined the initiative as the first Sussex County town to do so.

“We’ve all been affected by mental illness in some way and becoming Stigma-Free is the first step in fighting this disease as a community,’’ said Mendham Mayor Neil Henry. “Only by removing the perception of shame or embarrassment will we erase those feelings that prevent our neighbors, friends and family members from seeking help.

“It is critical that we raise awareness and promote the available resources whose mission is to assist those challenged by this illness. Indeed, I am proud to add Mendham Borough to the list of communities who embrace the Stigma-Free movement.”

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2016 passed a resolution designating Morris County as a Stigma-Free County and asked the county’s 39 towns to consider enrolling.

Morris County has created a Stigma Free website www.morriscountystigmafree.org to call attention to the initiative, provide information and resources, and a calendar of upcoming events related to mental illness and substance abuse. A Stigma Free Toolkit also is available for towns and communities.

Morris County’s goal in creating a Stigma Free initiative is to disseminate information and foster a stigma-free environment where people are free from judgment and can get the help they need to recover.

“We are really heartened by the support shown for this Stigma-Free initiative by so many towns and health providers and agencies, and our county residents,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “This initiative is an important step in helping affected people seek recovery, without fear of stigma or reprisal.’’

Thie addition to the Stigma-Free communities in Morris County occurs as a  “Hidden in Plain Sight: Workshop on Spotting Signs of Teen Drug Use’’ is set for tomorrow night (Wednesday, May 24) at Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren for residents in the Long Hill and Chathams area. This forum will give all interested residents a chance to join the conversation on the national epidemic. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m.

As part of the countywide initiative, residents are urged to take the Stigma Free Pledge:

  • As a supporter to those who have a mental illness or substance use disorder, I understand the importance of recognizing the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • I also know that when recognition is coupled with reeducation and understanding, health-seeking action can be taken. These actions lead to recovery, which is possible for everyone.
  • The Three R’s (recognize, reeducate and reduce) depend on each other to effectively Stamp Out Stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • This is what I, as an individual, charge myself to do—to fully Stamp Out Stigma and clear the path to health-seeking behavior. It begins with me.

For more information on the disease of mental illness, visit www.nami.org and for more information on NAMI’s national Stigma Free effort, visit: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labeled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. Stigma brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept help.

Mountain Lakes, Roxbury, Washington Twp, and Saint Clare’s Health Join Initiative

Mountain Lakes, Roxbury and Washington Township have joined the Morris County “Stigma Free’’ initiative, and the Mendham Borough Council is expected to approve a resolution on Thursday to make Mendham the 18th town in Morris County to join the countywide effort to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

In addition, Saint Clare’s Health held a major Stigma-Free Celebration last week to mark its “commitment to end discrimination and negative attitudes towards mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders.’’ Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRLBTCaAX_g

Also, the town of Sparta in Susex County has joined the initiative as the first Sussex County town to do so.

In Morris County, Mendham, Mountain Lakes, Roxbury, Washington Township join the town of Boonton, Boonton Township, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover, Jefferson, Long Hill, Madison, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Parsippany, Rockaway Borough and Rockaway Township as Stigma Free communities in Morris County.

Washington Township seal“I am pleased the township has taken this step to become Stigma-Free, and that we are part of an ever- growing group of police agencies and towns in Morris County that support this initiative,’’ said Washington Township Police Chief Jeff Almer. “With this program, we can continue to teach people about mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and erase the stigma attached to them.

“This will make residents, as well as the police officers, more aware of the illnesses and work to create an environment where we can assist with wellness and recovery by providing needed support and resources.’’

“One in four adults experiences a diagnosable mental illness every year and many of these individuals do not seek help because of fear of shame or judgment from friends, family and coworkers,” said Brian Finestein, chief executive officer of Denville Hospital and Saint Clare’s Behavioral Health centers. “As one of the state’s leading providers of behavioral health services, it is our responsibility to help spur this stigma-free movement forward.”

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2016 passed a resolution designating Morris County as a Stigma-Free County and asked the county’s 39 towns to consider enrolling.Roxbury Township seal

Morris County has created a Stigma Free website www.morriscountystigmafree.org to call attention to the initiative, provide information and resources, and a calendar of upcoming events related to mental illness and substance abuse. A Stigma Free Toolkit also is available for towns and communities.

Morris County’s goal in creating a Stigma Free initiative is to disseminate information and foster a stigma-free environment where people are free from judgment and can get the help they need to recover.

Freeholder Doug Cabana

Freeholder Doug Cabana

“We are really heartened by the support shown for this Stigma-Free initiative by so many towns and health providers and agencies, and our county residents,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “This initiative is an important step in helping affected people seek recovery, without fear of stigma or reprisal.’’

These additions to the Stigma-Free community occur as the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s “Knock Out Opioid Abuse’’ Town Hall series comes to Morris County tomorrow night (Wednesday, May 17) at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in Parsippany. It will give county residents a chance to join an informal conversation on the national epidemic. The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Mountain Lakes seal

As part of the countywide initiative, residents are urged to take the Stigma Free Pledge:

  • As a supporter to those who have a mental illness or substance use disorder, I understand the importance of recognizing the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • I also know that when recognition is coupled with reeducation and understanding, health-seeking action can be taken. These actions lead to recovery, which is possible for everyone.
  • The Three R’s (recognize, reeducate and reduce) depend on each other to effectively Stamp Out Stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • This is what I, as an individual, charge myself to do—to fully Stamp Out Stigma and clear the path to health-seeking behavior. It begins with me.Stigma Free Morris County: Mountain Lakes, Roxbury, Washington Twp, and Saint Clare's Health Join Initiative

 

For more information on the disease of mental illness, visit www.nami.org and for more information on NAMI’s national Stigma Free effort, visit: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labeled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. Stigma brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept help.

NewBridge Services Offers Community Members Free Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

NewBridge logoMental illness affects an estimated one in five adolescents, yet less than half of preteens and teens with disorders get treatment. A 2015 national survey of high school students found that 18 percent has seriously considered attempting suicide during the prior year.

“Mental illness is treatable, and adolescents like adults can recover or learn ways to manage their condition and enjoy fulfilling lives, but the first hurdle is recognizing the problem,” said Mary Vineis, NewBridge Services Director of Community Response and Education.

Beginning in July, NewBridge will offer free evidence-based Youth Mental Health First Aid training sessions for adults who regularly interact with young people. Thanks to a $12,000 grant from Morris County, NewBridge will provide six eight-hour sessions through the end of the year that teach family members, caregivers, educators, youth leaders and others how to help children ages 12 to 18 who have a mental illness or addiction problem, or who are in crisis.

While it’s normal for adolescents to feel anxious about new experiences, mental disorders can seriously affect how a child feels, thinks and acts, Vineis said. Recognizing the difference between normal growing-up behaviors and mental disorders is crucial. Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens ages 15 to 19.

Youth Mental Health First Aid introduces participants to common mental health challenges experienced by adolescents and reviews teenage development. The course teaches a five-step action plan for helping adolescents in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including ADHD), and eating disorders are among the topics that will be covered.

To find out more for an upcoming session, please contact Vineis at mvineis@newbridge.org or 973-686-2228.

Saint Clare’s Health Joins the Stigma-Free Movement

Saint Clare’s Health is proud to join a stigma-free movement, which aims to end discrimination and negative attitudes towards people living with mental or substance abuse disorders. Hear from some of our courageous clients who speak about the importance of breaking the stigma, so that individuals or families who are struggling can seek help without shame or fear of discrimination or judgment. At Saint Clare’s Health, we welcome you as you are.

“This is the First Mother’s Day Without My Son”

Governor Christie unveiled the newest video in his ReachNJ campaign, which features Pam, a New Jersey state worker and mom who lost her son to a drug overdose a few months ago.

The ReachNJ campaign, announced in Governor Christie’s State of the State address, has included a television commercial, radio ads, digital ads, and billboards. All are designed to alert the public to the www.ReachNJ.gov website and helpline 1-844-ReachNJ which connect those impacted by substance use disease with a variety of services and resources where they can get the help they need.

Why write about caregiving?

My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward book coverAuthor Mark Lukach describes why he writes about caregiving and mental health:

But there is one feeling that’s unnecessary: the loneliness, and in my time supporting my wife, I’ve never felt more lonely. In times of crisis we tend to wall ourselves away from each other because we’re too afraid to talk about what we’re experiencing. In all of my internet searching, it felt like I was the first husband who had to take his wife to the psych ward, because no one out there was talking or writing about it.

Read Author Mark Lukach on Why He Writes About Caregiving.

NAMI Walks – Join the Team!

NAMI Walks - Building Better Lives! May 13 at the Seaside Park Boardwalk. Checkin at 9, Walk starts at 10am!

Join the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) NJ for NAMIWalks New Jersey on May 13 at Seaside Park! Help raise funds and awareness, and enjoy performers and exhibitors. Proceeds help to provide free programs of support, education, and advocacy for all those coping with a mental illness and their families.

Join the Morris County Team – team walk captain Gail Schafran at gschafran@primehealthcare.com.

NAMIWalks NJ flyer. Event is May 13 at Seaside Park. Checkin is at 9, walk starts at 10!

23rd Annual Public Forum – “Celebrating You” – on June 12

23rd Annual Public Forum for Consumers and Families
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Frelinghuysen Arboretum
Haggerty Center
353 East Hanover Ave.
Morristown, N.J. 07960

Join us for an interactive evening that includes:

  • A Forum for public comment from you on the local human service system – What is working and what could be done better?
  • Personal stories of wellness and recovery
  • Presentation of the Terri Belske Mental Health Advocate of the Year Award
  • Music and entertainment
  • Community resources, local connections and information on wellness activities
  • Light supper

This forum is for consumers and family members, public officials, providers and advocates. For more information, please call Laurie Becker at 973-285-6852.

Governor Christie: Addiction Knows No Bounds, It Does Not Carefully Choose Its Victims

Governor Chris Christie addressed more than 1,200 state and national leaders in addiction prevention and recovery at the recent New Jersey Prevention Network’s 17th Annual Addiction Conference. The conference educates prevention & treatment professionals about critical issues surrounding substance use. Governor Christie stressed the need to destigmatize, prevent and treat the disease of addiction with a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach.