Prosecutor’s Office Participates at “A Night of Conversation – From Prescription to Addiction” at Lakeland Hills YMCA

On November 19, 2019, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Senator Anthony M. Bucco, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Lakeland Hills YMCA CEO Dr. Vik Joganow, and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brad Seabury, presented on how the heroin and opioid epidemic is affecting New Jersey residents. The program was held at the Lakeland Hills YMCA in Mountain Lakes. Representatives from Morris County Sheriff’s Office’s Hope One, Saint Clare’s Behavioral Health and other substance abuse recovery providers were onsite providing information and education. About 30 audience members attended the presentation, including local high school students.

Prosecutor Knapp stressed that this epidemic does not escape any community, and insight imparted to attendees is intended to start community conversations in their households and upcoming Thanksgiving tables. The epidemic touches everyone, according to the Prosecutor.

Senator Bucco discussed the need for additional state funding to fight addiction and to secure more treatment facilities.

Sheriff Gannon discussed his Office’s Hope One program, a mobile recovery access vehicle which offers support for persons struggling with addiction, and medically-assisted treatment programs available at the Morris County Correctional Facility. Twice a week, Hope One travels to locations throughout Morris County with a Sheriff’s officer, a licensed clinician, and a peer recovery specialist to recovery services.

CAP Seabury noted that since 2014, at least 342 people in Morris County have lost their lives to heroin or prescription drug overdoses. CAP Seabury discussed the Overdose Prevention Act and Drug Court program, criminal justice measures to treat and not just incarcerate individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders.

Kate Garrity provided the audience with a heartfelt, firsthand story of how the Epidemic has affected her life. She shared the tragic story of her son who passed away in 2016 from an overdose, as a way to both keep his memory alive and to help inform the community that it can happen to their children whether they believe it will or not.

Prosecutor Knapp said “The heroin and opioid epidemic continues to be a scourge on the citizens of New Jersey. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, in partnership with other stakeholders, will continue to combat this epidemic through our various initiatives and our strong focus on educating the public.”

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at mknab@co.morris.nj.us or pressinquiry@co.morris.nj.us or by phone at 973-829-8159.  

Break the Stigma – Start a Conversation!

From Life Center Stage:

Help us Break the Stigma and inspire hope! Please share this video and start a conversation!

On June 22, 2019, a festival dedicated to “Breaking the Stigma” was held on the Morristown Green. The festival was aimed at inspiring hope through the sharing of personal stories of recovery from substance use disorder and/or mental health. The community members performed original songs and cover songs related to their stories to raise awareness. Alternative community activities such as drumming, yoga, and interactive art, mask-making and a “I AM” photo shoot were available inviting the community to connect with one another. Six courageous and amazingly talented people shared their stories of recovery from substance use disorders, depression, boarderline personality, postpartum depression, eating disorders, and anxiety to help break the stigma that prevents far too many from seeking help. There is hope! Don’t give up!

Recovery Friendly Career Day at CARES

Rockaway, NJ, October 2019 – Join the Center for Addiction Recovery, Education & Success (CARES), Morris-Sussex-Warren Workforce Development Board, and employers in kicking off the first Recovery Career Day on Wednesday, October 23, from 10:00am-12pm.

The purpose of this event is to help people at any stage of recovery find community and purpose through work. This event will provide individuals with access to recovery in friendly employers and training programs. Participants will have the opportunity to apply for jobs and receive information on career training.

The event is FREE but registration is required. Contact Don Hebert at dhebert@mcpik.org.

The Center for Addiction Recovery, Education & Success works to engage and organize the recovery community by helping individuals find, maintain, and enhance their recovery experience through peer support, educational and volunteer opportunities and sober recreation, as well as working to reduce stigma associated with substance abuse through advocacy, education, and service.

Stigma-Free Mendhams: Special Program on Mental Health for Families — Oct. 3

A special program on family mental health issues will be held in Mendham Township on Thursday evening, Oct. 3,  at the Mendham Township Middle School.

The program, entitled “How Parents Can Support Positive Mental Health in their Children,” is sponsored by the Mendham Township School District and the Mendhams Stigma-Free Task Force.

It is open to all residents of Mendham Borough and Mendham Township, and residents of neighboring towns also are invited to attend.

  • Date: Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7  p.m.
  • Location: Mendham Township Middle School, 16 Washington Valley Rd, Brookside, NJ 07926
  • Speaker: Tracy Klingener, Assistant Director, Self-Help, Advocacy, & Education, with the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris
  • Topic: “How Parents Can Support Positive Mental Health in their Children”
  • Sponsored by: Mendhams Stigma-Free Task Force & Mendham Township School District

The Mendham Township Committee and Mendham Borough Council both passed resolutions declaring their municipalities Stigma-Free, with an overriding goal to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and with substance abuse disorders and get people who need help into treatment programs.

As part of the countywide initiative, residents are urged to take the Stigma Free Pledgehttps://morriscountystigmafree.org/take-the-pledge/

A Successful Stigma “Squash”

For August 31st’s International Overdose Awareness Day, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey asked NJ residents to participate in the “Squash the Stigma” water balloon challenge.

Participation was simple: The person needed to fill a few balloons with water, write stigmatizing words or beliefs on each balloon in marker, and then record themselves squashing them on the ground.

Check out the results! Thanks for all who participated!

Mind Matters 5K’ to benefit mental health programs at Madison Area YMCA

From the Madison YMCA:

MADISON – The public is asked to lace up its running shoes for the Madison Area YMCA‘s “The Mind Matters 5K” at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Giralda Farms office campus off Madison Avenue. The event also will feature a shorter, one-mile “Family Fun Run/Walk.” Families are encouraged to dress in Halloween costumes.

Supporters may register online at https://www.compuscore.com/Race/Register/NJ/Madison/TheMindMatters5k. Participants who register before Thursday, Oct. 10, will be charged “early bird fees” of $27 for the 5K, and $8 for the “Family Fun Run/Walk.” Registration is free for all children 7 and younger for the “Family Fun Run/Walk.” USA Track and Field (USATF) members will receive a $3 discount off the race registration fee on pre-entry. Same-day registration starts at 8:30 a.m.

The race is a fundraising event for YMCA’s Annual Fund, which “enables hundreds of children and families to participate in YMCA membership, innovative programming, wellness initiatives and services including childcare, early childhood education and summer camps at the Madison Area YMCA’s Family Center and the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA,” according to CEO and President Diane Mann. YMCA CEO Mann noted that “The Mind Matters 5K” will support a range of mental health and wellness programs at the YMCA.

The Community Mental Health Initiative: “As mental health is rapidly becoming a leading issue across the nation, the YMCA has taken steps to establish the Community Mental Health Initiative to raise awareness and lower the stigmas associated with mental illness,” Mann said. “The Community Mental Health Initiative also focuses on reducing barriers to mental health care by providing community members with knowledge and skills” to help people cope with mental health issues.

Project Community Pride of the Madison Area YMCA: Mann explained, “Project Community Pride is a youth counseling program that has joined the YMCA as one of its community-based programs, and an important extension of youth development services for children, teens and their families throughout the Madison Area YMCA’s service area. The program was made possible through the collaboration of community leaders and the municipalities and school districts of the Chathams, Florham Park and Madison.”

Paths to Wellness: Mann further pointed out, “The Madison Area YMCA offers enriching community wellness and health-enhancing programs, including ‘Livestrong at the YMCA,’ a cancer survivors’ program; the Diabetes Prevention Program; ‘One Step,’ a multiple sclerosis program; ‘Delay the Disease,’ a Parkinson’s disease wellness program; ‘Enhance Fitness,’ an arthritis wellness program; and ‘Healthy Hearts,’ a post-cardiac rehabilitation program.” She added, “The YMCA also has a range of youth sports, youth leadership programs, enrichment classes and adult fitness classes.”

Mann summed up, “As a cause-driven charitable organization, the Madison Area YMCA is dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, and improving the community’s health and well-being and giving back by providing support to our neighbors.”

For information, contact Associate Development Director Melissa DeSalvo at (973) 822-9622, ext. 2248, or email mdesalvo@madisonymca.org.

Help offered for people with depression, bipolar illness

From the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance:

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance will meet at 7:45 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Madison Community House, 25 Cook Ave., Madison.

Dr. Howard Rudominer will speak about the use of psychiatric medications.

The meeting feature a panel of people living with mood disorders who will tell of their struggles and their successes.

A nominal donation is requested from non-members, when possible. Free literature is available and there is a free library of educational audiotapes, CD’s and videotapes.

In addition to the lecture series, peer group support sessions led by experienced facilitators are held at 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays. Separate groups for young adults are held at 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays.

For more information about the support alliance, visit http://dbsanewjersey.org/morristownarea or call (973) 994-1143.

2019 Alan Lunt Consumer Advocate Award – Scholarship Applications Being Accepted

From the New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association:

Alan Lunt was a staunch advocate of services for himself and others in varying phases of their recovery. NJPRA celebrates Alan’s years of dedication to the field of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and working in advocacy with this annual award.

The Alan Lunt Consumer Advocate Award is given to a person in recovery who shows outstanding advocacy efforts in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation for people in recovery, families and/or services for people in recovery. All recipients should be individual/advocate members, or part of an NJPRA member organization.

Learn more about the Alan Hunt Consumer Advocate Award.

NJPRA is also pleased to announce the availability of twenty-five (25) consumer scholarships for the 2019 Fall Conference at Pines Manor in Edison. We thank our partners at DMHAS for their continuing support and funding of this opportunity for persons in recovery. Learn more about the 2019 Consumer Scholarship.

Butterfly Release Marks Overdose Awareness Day

Register to Add Your Loved One’s Name to the Dedication List

From CARES: In Observance of International Overdose Awareness Day we invite you to join us in honoring the memory of those we have lost, those still struggling and those in recovery from the disease of addiction.

Join the observance on Saturday, August 31 from 8-10 a.m.

Our celebration will begin with light refreshments at CARES, 25 West Main Street, Rockaway, before proceeding together to Donatoni Community Park at 231 West Main Street for a dedication ceremony and beautiful butterfly release.

CARES is committed to working together to raise awareness, end the stigma and prevent further tragedies associated with this disease.

This is a FREE community event. Please email bkauffman@mcpik.org to attend and have your loved one’s name placed on the dedication list.

Squash the Stigma!

From the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey:

International Overdose Awareness Day is August 31st, so for the entire month of August the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is asking NJ residents to participate in our water balloon challenge to squash the stigma associated with substance use disorder.

Squash the stigma poster. Text repeated below.

To participate in the #SquashTheStigma challenge, you simply need to fill a few balloons with water, write stigmatizing words or beliefs on each balloon in marker, and then record yourself squashing them on the ground. In your video you should also include three people you would to nominate in the challenge. They will have 48 hours to make their videos.

Don’t forget to post your videos and tag on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @DrugFreeNJ) with the hashtag #SquashTheStigma.

Here is an example challenge video: https://youtu.be/vnI6EYgFV3Y

The goal is to spread awareness about the debilitating affects of stigma and encourage people to join us in our effort to squash it. We hope that you will too!