News & Events

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.

National Council for Behavioral Health Report on Violence

From the National Council for Behavioral Health:

Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impacts and Solutions” provides important insights into the link between mental illness and mass violence. The National Council’s Medical Director Institute authored the report.

According to the report, “people with serious mental illness are responsible for less than 4 percent of all violence and less than one-third of mass violence.” Statistics bear out that most people who commit mass violence do not have a serious mental illness.

Read the full report, Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impacts and Solutions, or take a look at the executive summary.

NAMI Statement On Mass Shootings In Texas And Ohio

From NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred over the weekend in Texas and Ohio. These mass shootings are far too common and impact every corner of our nation. Every time we experience a tragedy like this, people with mental illness are drawn into the conversation. The truth is that the vast majority of violence is not perpetrated by people with mental illness. Statements to the contrary only serve to perpetuate stigma and distract from the real issues.

Read the full statement on NAMI’s website.

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!

Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs NJ Family Fishing Tournament

The Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs NJ Family Fishing Tournament runs through July 28.

This online fishing tournament isn’t about the size of the fish. It’s about encouraging families to head outdoors and bond over a fun-filled day of fishing. It’s the perfect opportunity to open up the lines of communication to help keep them drug free.

Research shows that parents who often communicate with their children significantly decrease their chances of abusing substances. It is important for parents and guardians to spend time quality time with their children, especially during the summertime when kids have more time on their hands and could potentially get into trouble.

Rules

The competition will take place from July 19-28 and requires no entrance fee. To enter, take a photo of your family enjoying a fishing trip and post it on our Facebook (Drug-FreeNJ), Instagram (@DrugFreeNJ), or Twitter (@DrugFreeNJ) pages with the hashtag #DrugFreeNJ. The picture must include the youth participant and a parent or guardian. Eligible candidates must be 18 years old or younger, New Jersey residents, and be accompanied by a parent or guardian while fishing anywhere in New Jersey. The winners are picked randomly.

All entries must be submitted no later than July 28. A total of $500 will be awarded to five randomly selected submissions on August 5.

To learn more, please visit drugfreenj.org.

Unity Charter School of Morristown Joins Stigma-Free Initiative

K-8 School Formally Endorses Countywide Effort to End Stigma Related to Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders

The Unity Charter School in Morristown, a tuition-free public elementary school (grades K-8), today (June 12) formally joined the countywide Stigma-Free effort in Morris County to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Unity students and teachers hold up a banner with the phrase Unity Proud to Be Stigma-Free

At a special event at the school, students from all grades at Unity Charter signed a “Stigma-Free” banner and took the Stigma-Free pledge (https://morriscountystigmafree.org/take-the-pledge/).

Unity Charter joins the Montville, Chester, Hanover Township and Hanover Park Regional schools districts previously as educational members of the Stigma-Free initiative in Morris County.

Unity students sign the Stigma-Free banner

That Stigma-Free movement also includes 35 Morris County towns, law enforcement, nonprofit agencies, hospitals, and faith-based groups in the Stigma-Free initiative.

“To support the learning of all students, we work diligently to create a nurturing learning environment. To do so we focus on developing the whole child, which includes their social and emotional well-being,’’ said Unity Charter Executive Director Connie Sanchez.

“Respecting people for who they are without attaching labels is a non-negotiable, when working with our students and team members,’’ Sanchez added.

The three-year-old grass roots Stigma-Free movement recognizes the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders in our communities. It promotes re-education and understanding that can lead to treatment and recovery – minus the stigma associated with these illnesses.

Leaders of this initiative from across the county are now working with school districts and faith-based groups to become active participants, hosting a variety of programs, such as the upcoming “Breaking Stigma: Building a Strong Healthy Community’’ arts and music festival set for June 22 on the Morristown Green. https://www.lifecenterstage.org/

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

Two Unity boys sign the Stigma-Free banner

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2016 passed a resolution (joining several towns that had initiated the movement), designating Morris County as a Stigma-Free County and asked all of the county’s towns to consider enrolling.

“We are pleased that the Unity Charter School has formally joined the Stigma-Free initiative,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, the county governing board’s Stigma-Free liaison.  “They already have been active as leaders in the Stigma-Free effort, and we look forward to their continuing participation and leadership.’’

The educational philosophy at the Unity Charter School is to offer learning that spans beyond textbooks and which prepares students to face real-world challenges. The goal is to foster a culture of creativity, innovation and change that inspires a future generation of thinkers and doers.

Barbara Smith, a Unity Charter School counselor, in April briefed the school staff on the countywide Stigma-Free initiative. Subsequently, a task force was created with the School Climate Team and students from SAFE (Students Advocating For Equality) to plan to join the initiative.

During class meetings in May, Stigma-Free student ambassadors met with all students to share the importance of becoming a “Stigma Free School.’’ Unity Charter’s entire student population, K-8, participated in a variety of age appropriate activities and discussion in preparation for Tuesday’s signing of the Stigma Free resolution.

To learn more about Unity Charter School, visit: https://unitycharterschool.org/students/

For information on the disease of mental illness, visit www.nami.org and for 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 individuals are 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.

New Jersey Law Enforcement Community Unites to Discuss Opioid Epidemic

From The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey:

On Thursday in Atlantic City, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey held the New Jersey Law Enforcement Training: On the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic conference, the first ever statewide law enforcement event to unite federal, state, county and local law enforcement officials to discuss the opioid epidemic ravaging the state.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who delivered the keynote address, announced for the first time publicly that his office has filed a lawsuit against eight members of the Sackler family, founders of oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma. He also outlined the progress being made in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Read the full article.