Freeholders Proclaim September as “Mental Health and Drug Abuse Recovery Month” in Morris County

The Morris County Board of Freeholders are proclaiming September as “Recovery Month in Morris County,’’ part of a national observance held each September to educate all residents that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable persons dealing with those problems to live healthy and rewarding lives.

Freeholders smile for the camera

The county this September is teaming up with Greystone Park State Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany to highlight prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities at the hospital and throughout Morris County.

An important aspect of Recovery Month efforts is to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and mental health disorders.

The Freeholders have declared that Morris County is a “Stigma Free’’ community, and 34 of the county’s 39 towns have joined in the countywide effort to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

“National Recovery Month is a time to educate our residents that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives,’’ said Deputy Freeholder Director Christine Myers.

“It celebrates the gains made by those in recovery here in Morris County, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease,’’ added Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, the county governing board’s liaison to the Stigma-Free initiative.

Accepting the Recovery Month proclamation at the freeholders’ Aug. 22 meeting were Greystone CEO Tomika Carter; Christopher Dorian, Director of Co-Occurring Services at Greystone; Morris County Director of Behavioral Health Services Laurie Becker, and Barbara Ward, member of the Morris County Mental Health Mental Health Addiction Services Advisory Board.

Greystone has planned a special “Wellness Wednesdays’’ program for patients at the state hospital. The Sept. 5 program will include speakers from the community to discuss their stories of recovery.

Mental and/or substance use disorders affect millions of Americans and directly touch the lives of individuals, family members, neighbors and colleagues.

Given the widespread impact and societal cost of these behavioral conditions, it is important for communities to make prevention, treatment and recovery support available and accessible for all who need them.

Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness of behavioral health conditions.

The theme for 2018 is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.’’

The countywide goal of the Morris County 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 from addiction and mental illness. Residents are urged to make the Stigma Free Pledge: https://morriscountystigmafree.org/take-the-pledge/.

For more information on the county’s Stigma Free campaign, please visit: https://morriscountystigmafree.org/

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