News & Events

Prescription Drug Drop Installed at County Govt. Center in Morristown

Offers Safe Disposal Site for Prescription Drugs

Morris County employees and residents now have an additional location, inside the county government complex in Morristown, to safely and conveniently dispose of unwanted or leftover prescription drugs.

A new Prescription Drug Drop Box has been added by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office to the lobby of the Morris County Administration and Records Building, which is located at 10 Court St. in Morristown, directly across from the Morris County Courthouse.

“We fully support this initiative, organized by Morris County Sheriff Jim Gannon, as another positive step to deal with the opioid crisis we are facing in Morris County,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

It is part of a countywide effort to have residents regularly dispose of unwanted or expired medications, as part of Stigma-Free Morris County’s efforts to battle the opioid epidemic.  Similar drop off boxes have been set up across the county, in Mount Olive and other towns. To find a list of Prescription Drug Drop Box location in the county near you, please visit

The new locked drop box in the County Administration Buidling is available to the public and Morris County employees during normal business hours, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

It is important to note that businesses or clinics may not use the collection box to dispose of medications.

“This is a central location for the public allowing people to discard their medications in a safe and secure area, while also offering convenience for county employees,” said Sheriff Gannon, who has been an advocate in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

“The gateway to this disease often begins with legally prescribed medicine that is overused or used by people other than the patient.  My hope is that by collecting and destroying unused medications, we lessen the access and thereby block potential beginnings,” Sheriff Gannon added.

The new drop box is clearly labeled to identify items that may and may not be deposited.

Acceptable items include pills, capsules, patches, vitamins, samples, pet medications and over-the-counter medications.  Medication packaging also will be accepted, such as pill bottles and small medication boxes.

Not acceptable: syringes, liquids, lances for diabetic testing, inhalers, thermometers and aerosol cans, and of course any type of trash.

Since 2013, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office has been part of the successful Prescription Drop Box Program under the Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris, (an initiative of nonprofit Morris County Prevention is Key), in conjunction with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and numerous Municipal Police Departments within Morris County.

The Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris looks to prevent and reduce the harmful effects of drugs in Morris County.

Since 2013, there have been 26 drop box installed at various locations in Morris County, making it easier for county residents to dispose of unused or expired medications, said Barbara Kauffman, Director of Prevention Services at Morris County Prevention is Key.

“I have been proud to work with both the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, to equip each of the Morris County Police Departments with a Prescription Drug Drop Box,’’ said Kauffman, who is the coordinator of the Community Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Morris.

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office collects the medications with 25 local police departments that host a collection unit.  The Sheriff’s Office has destroyed more than 30,000 pounds of medications in the last six years, including 6,563 pounds so far in the first half of 2018.

The medications are weighed, logged and stored prior to destruction.

Festival of Hope

Saturday, September 15
9:00am to 12:00pm
Chilton Medical Center
97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444

Join Chilton Medical Center and Atlantic Behavioral Health at a FREE community-focused event designed to promote education about mental health awareness, depression and suicide prevention, and the importance of access to mental health care.

Our special guest speaker will be Kevin Hines, who survived a suicide attempt from the Golden Gate Bridge. He is traveling the country, bringing his unique firsthand perspective to the subject of suicide prevention, to foster hope and understanding between those caught in the throes of despair and their loved ones.

In addition, there will be displays and educational materials from Attitudes in Reverse®, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health Association and other partners.

Atlantic Health System’s No More Whispers Campaign is focused on getting people to talk openly about a condition that affects one in six U.S. adult lives, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
The event will also feature pet therapy dogs and other community partners including the National Alliance on Mental Illness Healing Through Art Campaign, who will also present mental health education.

In Their Shoes™ Exhibit
Unless you have walked IN THEIR SHOES™ you would never know the overwhelming feeling of sadness, anxiety & hopelessness that cause hundreds of young people to end their lives.

The exhibit will consist of 269 pairs of shoes to represent New Jersey youth, ages 10 through 24, who lost all hope and ended their lives in the years between 2013–2015.

Butterfly Release
Butterfly Release is held to honor friends and family members who were lost too soon.

To register, go to or email

Call for Artists – Heroin & Opioid Art Exhibition

Artists are invited to participate in the third annual Heroin & Opioid Art Exhibition, which highlights opioid and heroin abuse, addiction and recovery. Cash prizes are available for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place entries!

All finalists will be invited to attend the Heroin Addiction Art Exhibition on August 23 at Gateway Project Spaces, in the Gateway Building in Newark.

Submissions will be judged on the message and originality.

Visit for more information and to enter!

This event is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (NJ Division) and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, in conjunction with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse.

“Expressions of Hope” Call for Artists

  • Event: “Expressions of Hope”
  • Where: Montville Senior House, 365 Main Road, Montville, NJ 07045
  • When: Saturday, October 13, 2018, 2pm-6pm
  • What: Original Artwork
  • How much: Free to both public and participating artists

The Montville Stigma-Free Task Force (MSFTF), whose mission is to reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders and substance use disorders, is seeking visual artists for “Expressions of Hope”, their free annual community art event. This event seeks to raise awareness, encourage hope, and reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders and substance use disorders. We are seeking art that expresses the complex emotions, experiences, and stories surrounding mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and the stigma associated with them.

All artists, both professional and amateur, are encouraged to submit their work to the Montville Stigma-Free Task Force for consideration.

Please note: the receipt of notification that a submitted artwork has been accepted to the event will constitute an agreement by the artist with all conditions set forth in this call for artists.

Important Dates/Times:

  • Submission deadline – midnight, August 15, 2018.
  • Notifications announced – September 20, 2018.
  • Artwork delivery/setup – October 13, 2018 between 11am and 1pm only.
  • Event – Saturday, October 13, 2018, between 2pm and 6pm.
  • Artwork pickup/breakdown – October 13, 2018 between 6pm and 8pm only.

Artwork Specifications:

  • Submissions may be 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional.
  • Submissions are limited to fine art, which includes, but is not limited to, the following mediums: oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, photography, computer-generated, collage, mixed media, clay, and fiber.
  • Submissions must be completely original works created by the applicant, owned/copyrighted by the applicant.
  • Submissions must not infringe upon the rights of others.
  • Submissions depicting any recognizable person or persons must be accompanied by a signed model release.
  • Submissions must not depict/contain/represent any content deemed offensive, sexually explicit, and/or inappropriate. The MSFTF has the final authority to define what constitutes offensive, sexually explicit, and/or inappropriate.
  • Each submission must not exceed 50 pounds in weight, 6 feet in height, or 3 feet in width.

Artist Specifications:

  • Applicants must be 13 years of age or older.
  •  Applicants must reside in the continental United States. Preference will be given to artists residing in Montville Township, elsewhere within Morris County, or elsewhere within New Jersey (in that order).

Event specifications:

  • All artworks displayed are limited to those which were accepted by, and which the artist received notification of acceptance from, the Montville Stigma-Free Task Force.
  • Artists are responsible for delivery/setup and pickup/breakdown of all of their artworks.
  • All artworks must be set up on Saturday, October 13, 2018, between the hours of 11am and 1pm.
  • All artworks must remain on display for the entire duration of the event on Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 2pm to 6pm.
  • All artworks must be picked-up/broken down on Saturday, October 13, 2018, between the hours of 6pm and 8pm.
  • Artworks remaining unclaimed after 9pm on October 13, 2018 will become the property of the MSFTF.
  • At a maximum, each artist will have 2 panels or racks (each 3×7 feet), or one 6-ft flat surface (table) to display their work. Final allocation of space may be reduced, and is dependent upon the number of artists accepted.
  • All artworks must arrive at the event completely ready for display – a neat, clean, professional presentation with a secure hanging method. If subject to damage, artwork should be framed under plexiglass. Artworks not ready for display as described may be excluded from the event, at the sole discretion of the MSFTF.
  • Sales of artworks are allowed and encouraged. A commission of 5% shall be charged on all sales occurring at the event. Artists are responsible for handling sales and reporting sales tax. Works that are not for sale must be clearly marked.
  • Any artwork that is deemed unsafe to the public, presents complex installation problems, requires electrical extension cords, requires a supply of running water, or generates liquid or solid waste may be excluded from the event, at the sole discretion of the MSFTF.
  • Any artwork deemed by the MSFTF to appear significantly different from the approved submission may be excluded from the event, at the sole discretion of the MSFTF.
  • Artists are fully responsible for the transportation of accepted artworks, and must carry their own insurance. The Township of Montville, the Montville Senior House, the Montville Stigma-Free Task Force and any staff and/or volunteers at the event are not responsible for any loss or damages to any artwork during transportation to the event, at the event, or during transportation after the event.
  • For all artworks accepted to the event, the artist agrees to allow the artwork to be
    reproduced by the MSFTF for promotional purposes.

How to Submit Artworks for Consideration:

  • Take a high-resolution digital photo or scan the work. Up to two (2) digital images of the work may be submitted for each artwork. Each image must show a different detail or view of the artwork.
  • Email the digital image(s) of the artwork to prior to midnight, August 15, 2018.
  • All images must be submitted in digital JPEG format. Each image must be 72 dpi, sized between 1024 and 1280 pixels on its longest side, and must not exceed 2 megabytes.
  • If video is incorporated in the artwork, do not email the video file. Instead, in the submission email, provide a link to where the video can be viewed online.
  • Each artwork may only be submitted for consideration once.
  • Each artwork must be submitted via its own separate email – multiple artworks included in one email may not be accepted.
  • Each email submission must include:
    • Artists first and last name
    • Artist’s full residential address
    • Artist’s phone number
    • Title of artwork
    • Artwork medium
    • Brief (no more than 2-5 sentences maximum) artist biography (headshots not required but encouraged)
    • Brief (no more than 2-5 sentences maximum) description of how the artwork relates to mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and/or the stigma associated with these disorders
    • If applicable, agent/assistant name, address, phone number, and email
    • If applicable, artists website and/or social media links
  • There is no fee to submit artwork for consideration.

Should you require more information, or have any questions, please contact Shanice Johnson via phone at (973) 682-4940 or via email at

Chatham Township to Host 3rd Annual Walk to Fight Suicide

The Chatham Township Committee today announced that in its continuing efforts to raise awareness of suicide prevention it will host its 3rd Annual Chatham Township Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Saturday, September 22nd at 4:30 PM to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The event will take place, rain or shine, at Cougar Field located at 320 Shunpike Road in Chatham Township. Participants can register as an individual, or as a team, by visiting Individuals are also encouraged to ‘Like’ the Walk’s Facebook page at

Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter, speaking on behalf of the Committee, said, “In recent weeks we have seen an increased awareness of suicide following the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Unfortunately, they are but two of the nearly 45,000 Americans who die by suicide each year. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and the 11th leading cause of death overall in New Jersey. Recently, the School District of the Chathams reported in their Critical Issues in Student Wellness report that 102 high school students and 50 middle school students had seriously considered attempting suicide. The time to act is now, and we hope that our ongoing efforts to shed a bright light on this important issue will help bring greater awareness of suicide prevention and raise much-needed funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“We are grateful for the support of the community who has helped to make the Chatham Township Walk one of the largest Out of the Darkness Walks in New Jersey, raising more than $150,000 over the past two years. I encourage all residents, young and old, to consider participating and getting involved. While suicide does not discriminate, it is preventable and together we can make a difference.”

Individuals and local businesses that have an interest in sponsoring the Chatham Township Out of the Darkness Community Walk can learn more at

The Chatham Township Out of the Darkness Walk is one of more than 375 Out of the Darkness Community Walks being held nationwide this year. Hundreds of individuals from throughout Morris, Essex, and Union counties are expected to participate in the Chatham Township Walk, which will supports the AFSP’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.

As part of its efforts to educate and inform its resident on suicide awareness and prevention, the Chatham Township Committee has hosted a series of community forums, “Talk Saves Lives,” in conjunction with the AFSP. Individuals can view replays of the presentations on the Township online video library at

About The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide.

Media Contact:
Gregory J. LaConte
Township Clerk/Registrar

Why mental health advocates use the words ‘died by suicide’

From NBC News:

With the news this week of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, reactions and commentary are pouring in on social media. People who never met them are grasping for answers as to why these icons could meet such a tragic end. Specifically they may be asking, “How could they do this?” It’s a common question in the aftermath of a suicide that, though typically innocent in nature, is loaded with crucial misunderstandings about suicide and, in some cases, mental illness.

What exactly is the problem? Partly it’s in the language. Asking “how someone could do this” puts responsibility on the victim, just as the phrase “committed suicide” suggests an almost criminal intent. Depression and other mental illnesses are leading risk factors for suicide. This is why mental health advocates usually employ the term “died by suicide,” as it removes culpability from the person who has lost their life and allows a discussion about the disease or disorder from which they were suffering.

Read the full article.

Preventing Suicide is Everyone’s Business

From the National Council for Behavioral Health:

The high-profile deaths by suicide last week of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade shed light on a growing national problem. While other causes of death are declining, the suicide rate keeps climbing – alarmingly so. The same week Bourdain and Spade died, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study which revealed that suicide rates increased in all but one state between 1999 and 2016, with half of those states seeing an increase of 30 percent. Nearly 45,000 Americans died by suicide in 2016 – that’s one person every 12 minutes.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade and to anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. Clearly, suicide is not an isolated incident and it’s not just a mental health problem. The CDC reported that more than half – 54 percent – of people who died by suicide did not have a diagnosed mental health condition. Among the other factors that contributed to suicide deaths were relationship problems, substance use, physical illnesses, job loss and money troubles. Suicide is a public health problem that can and must be prevented.

First, we must recognize that suicide prevention is everyone’s business. We all know someone who is living with depression or anxiety, has lost a loved one to suicide or is struggling to find mental health or substance use treatment for themselves or a loved one. The time has come when our response to someone with a mental health problem or an addiction should be no different than our response to someone with cancer, heart disease or diabetes. The National Council’s Mental Health First Aid offers tools to help start a conversation, listen with compassion to someone who has thoughts of suicide and direct them to professional help.

Second, we must make it easier for people to get the help they need. The National Council’s 2,900-plus members are transforming health care delivery for individuals at risk of suicide by offering same-day access to services and beginning to adopt a Zero Suicide approach to care, which makes all health care settings suicide safe. Zero Suicide is a bold goal that we are fully capable of meeting.

Third, we must advocate for public policies that support individuals and their families at risk of suicide. We must fully implement that National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and its Prioritized Research Agenda. We must urge Congress to pass the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act to increase the number of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) around the country. CCBHCs receive a Medicaid rate that allows them to provide comprehensive, evidence-based care for mental illnesses and addictions, integrated with primary care. CCBHCs provide services when and where people need them.

Finally, we must remember that suicide is caused by disconnection and isolation. The best thing we can do if we are worried about someone attempting suicide is to tell them we are concerned, ask them if they are thinking about death and get them help from professionals, family members and friends. Suicide deaths are preventable, and we must start today.


The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 2,900 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 1 million Americans have been trained. For more information, please visit

Wharton Carnival Features Games, Rides, Food, Music

JUNE 7-10 Event Funds Drug and Alcohol Awareness Programs

Wharton Carnival flyerWharton’s 4th annual carnival sponsored by the town’s Municipal Alliance and Fraternal Order of Police promises four fun days of live entertainment, music, dancing, rides, games and a classic car show from Thursday, June 7 to Sunday, June 10 at McKinnon Middle School.

Each day has a theme along with special events and food. Money raised during the four days supports programs to fight the use of drugs and alcohol, including guest speakers for students and parents, and the LEAD program: Law Enforcement Against Drugs.

Admission is $2 and includes a free slice of pizza. Children under 3 are admitted free. Ride wristbands are $25 per evening; individual tickets are also available. The school is located at 137 E Central Ave in Wharton. Free parking is available at the Lafayette Street lot.

Hours and themes are:

  • Thursday, June 7, 4-9 p.m. – Country Western music night with a live band, country line dancing with instructors and pulled pork sliders
  • Friday, June 8, 4-10:30 p.m. – Latin music night with a DJ, professional dancers, salsa lessons and empanadas
  • Saturday, June 9, 2-10:30 p.m. – Rock ‘n Roll with classic and antique car show, tricky tray and apple pie
  • Sunday, June 10, 2 -9 p.m. – Family day with face painting, petting zoo, pony rides, 50/50 prize drawing and mac ‘n cheese

Volunteers are still needed to help out. For more information on the carnival, volunteering and town news, Wharton, visit Wharton’s municipal website.

NAMI Morris County Holding First Annual Wellness Fair

NAMI Morris County Holding First Annual Wellness Fair

Join NAMI of Morris County for their 1st Annual Mental Health & Wellness Fair on Wednesday, June 6 from 6:30-8:30pm. It will be held at the Saint Francis Residential Community Club Room, located at 122 Diamond Spring Road, Denville, NJ.

Featured Speakers

  • Dr. Randy Bressler, Psychologist
    Dr. Bressler will discuss evaluation and treatment for adolescents and adults diagnosed with mental illness
  • Suruchi Saini, MA, LPC, NCC, CCTP
    Suruchi Saini, owner of Holistic Bonfire will share how to holistically take care of mind, body and spirit
  • Dr. Sheila Bender, Ph.D.
    Expert in EMDR, (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), Dr. Bender will discuss the benefits of this therapy technique


Vendors will be present to provide information about Morris County mental health resources including:

  • NAMI Morris County
  • Atlantic Health System
  • Saint Clare’s Health
  • Family Partners of Morris & Sussex
  • MHA of Essex & Morris
  • Summit Oaks Hospital

Register Today!

This is a free event but registration is required.

To register, call 973-945-7386, or 973-768-4657, by June 2.

We hope to see you there!

Acting Group Educates About Mental Illness, Stigma

Register Now for FREE Thursday, May 23 Program in Denville

Using improvisational theater, the Mental Health Players teach their audiences to recognize the signs, symptoms and stigma suffered by people with mental illness by creating real-life scenarios of their interactions with family members and their community.

The group will perform THIS THURSDAY, May 23 at 7 p.m. at St. Francis Residential Community, 122 Diamond Spring Road, Denville. The event is free, but registration is required.

Email or call 973-625-7095.

Mental Health Players is a group of volunteer actors who are trained to depict realistic scenarios. Their role-play performances provide audiences with a dynamic way to receive basic education about depression, dementia, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety.

The goal is for family members, care givers, community members and professionals to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and to challenge the accompanying stereotypes and stigma.

For the last 30 years, the Mental Health Players have performed at agencies, professional conferences, partial care facilities as well as many colleges and secondary schools.

Audiences consist of all ages and diverse memberships, averaging over 2,000 people annually. The program is presented by Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris.

The program is a natural fit in Stigma-Free Morris County, where 33 towns, county government, hospitals, some school districts, the County Sheriff and Prosecutor, and many non-profits have joined the countywide Stigma-Free initiative. The Mount Arlington Borough Council recently passed a resolution to join the movement, and several more of the county’s 39 towns are considering joining.