Stigma Free Zone News of NJ - December Edition Out Now!
Volume XXXXl l December 2019
THE STIGMA FREE ZONE NEWS OF NJ
Bringing the Mental Health Conversation to New Jersey
We report on an initiative of volunteers, nonprofits, schools, libraries, hospitals, First Responders, and houses of worship working independently or with local government to make NJ free from the stigma of mental illness. Anyone can form a local SFZ Task Force, no permission required. Just pledge to "do something about mental illness."
Bergen County Is Declared A NationalTeen Mental Health First Aid Training Pilot Site
Program Sponsored by Lady Gaga’sBorn This Way Foundation & the National Council for Behavioral Health
Hackensack, N.J. – Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco and the Board of Chosen Freeholders recently congratulated the county’s Division of Mental Health Services (DMHS) for working to make Bergen County a national pilot site for teen Mental Health First Aid training. Bergen County is the only location in NJ and one of 35 sites across the country to be selected to participate in this pilot project.
The year-long in-person training teaches h.s. students about common mental health challenges and will equip them with knowledge and skills necessary to foster their own wellness and to support and help others. This initiative comes at a pivotal time given NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s new law requiring schools to incorporate mental health education into the state’s standard curriculum. Teen MHFA is an evidence-based model which schools may use to fulfill the Governor’s mandate. The Teen MHFA pilot project has been launched in Fort Lee High School.
The County Executive and Freeholders extended their sincere thanks to the Superintendent of Fort Lee Schools, Ken Rota, and the Fort Lee High School staff who worked collaboratively with the DMHS to make this project possible. To be eligible for the pilot, 10 percent of school staff must have been certified in youth mental health first aid – Fort Lee far exceeds that number.
“Congratulations to Fort Lee High School for recognizing the importance of mental health and taking the initiative to help children in need,” said County Executive Tedesco. "Now that all 70 municipalities have taken steps to address mental health awareness, it is important that we start teaching our children about mental health first aid so they can lead happier, healthier lives. I want to thank Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and the National Council for this funding and their willingness to work with Fort Lee H.S. on this important teen mental health first aid initiative.”
Teen MHFA is an in-person training for students grades 10 to 12 to learn about mental illnesses, including how to identify and respond to a developing mental health or substance use problem among peers. Students learn a 5-step action plan to help friends who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis, such as suicide, and highlights the importance of involving a responsible and trusted adult.
?Addressing the mental health needs of teens is critically important. Half of all mental illnesses begin by age 14 and three-quarters by the mid-20s. Left unaddressed, mental health issues can lead to serious consequences for a young person, including increased risk of dropping out of school or experiencing homelessness. Tragically, suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds.
Governor Codey Brings Stigma Free Signs to Newton
By Jennifer Dericks
The Town of Newton recently passed a resolution designating the town Stigma Free. Last week Governor Richard Codey and Julie Bannon of the Codey Fund for Mental Health met with Newton Mayor, council members, and township officials, along with Newton Superintendent, Kennedy Greene, and Newton Police Lt., Robert Osborn, to present the lime green... Stigma Free signs.
African American Community NOW Is Offering New Support Groups
Northern Jersey Group
2nd Wednesday of the month 6:30pm-8:00pm
St. Matthew A.M.E. Church 336 Oakwood Avenue, Orange, NJ 07050
Contact Shanee at (732) 940-0991 ext. 117
Central Jersey Group
3rd Thursday of the month 7:00pm-9:00pm
First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens
771 Somerset St., Somerset, NJ 08873
Contact Donna at (732) 940-0991 ext. 117
Southern Jersey Group
3rd Tuesday of the month 6:30pm-8:30pm
(In Dec. it will be on the 2nd Tuesday)
Alpha Baptist Church
15 Rose Street, Cares Bldg., Room #6, Willingboro, NJ 08046
Contact Winifred at (609) 265-0746
Young Adults Society
Young Adult Society is a social group that offers
recreational activities to young adults aged 21 to 35
who have mental health concerns. This group provides opportunities
for social interaction. Activities are selected by its members.
Transportation will be provided by the participants and their families.
Youth Adult Society is a place where you will find acceptance and friendship. For more information, contact Winifred at (609) 265-0746.
Nami Program Coordinator: Lisa Powell at (732) 940-0991 ext. 117
Impacting Holiday Season Loneliness
By NJPRA Board Member, Dave D'Antonio
It is the time of year to remind ourselves to reach out to those around us.
The Holiday Season means joy, happiness and celebration for most. Yet, there are many around us who experience deepened feelings of loneliness and isolation during this time of year.
There is no greater pain for a human being than that of being alone. Loneliness and isolation pose a greater health risk than smoking, poor nutrition, lack of exercise and the side effects of medication. For these reasons that we want to be sure to reach out to those around us who may be lonely or isolated.
Loneliness is not reserved only to the people we serve but also our friends, neighbors, family and community. Anyone can be a victim of loneliness and isolation. Please check in with your persons served, elderly family members, the person you see in the hospital who never seems to have visitors, neighbors and be sure they are OK. A brief five minute conversation can make a world of difference to a person experiencing loneliness.
And remember it is not always the quiet person who is lonely. Many people, including our coworkers or neighbors who may appear to be social can experience feeling of loneliness and isolation. So if you have thought about calling someone to say "hi", thinking a person served needs a little extra attention, or your coworkers seems a little down, don’t walk on by, do something. You and the person you reach out to will be rewarded by your action.
A Few Smiles From The Twitter
Sami Sorad of Mt. Laurel, NJ
Raised $6,000 for SW NJ Mental Health Association Through the Move for Mental Health Fundraiser
You go, gurl
A Stigma Free Shout Out to all of 2019's Amazing Donors:
The Strong and the Brave Wendy Sefcik - Remembering TJ
Lisa Gladwell, Godwinker - NJ Recovery Advocates
Nancy Labov, The Wind Beneath AIR: Alumni In Recovery
Paula Tedesco, Generous SFZ Ambassador
Jay Yudof, Steadfast Mental Health Educator
Rebekha Leon, Dedicated Stigma Free Supporter
CarePlus NJ - Best Care in Town
NJAMHAA - Fearless Advocates, All
The Tireless and Passionate Heart of Debbie Wentz
The Remarkable Codey Fund for Mental Health
The Hard-Working Bergen County Mental Health Board Peeps
Kindly Andrea & Herb Ouida - The Todd Ouida Foundation
Stigma Free Force, Joanne Green- MHA in Passaic County
Mark Williams, Mental Health Donor Extraordinaire
Mary Ann Uzzi - The Beloved Founder of The Stigma Free
Lois Hallock, My Sainted Mother Who Believes in Me
Special Thanks to Careplus NJ Foundation for holding SFZ News donations safely in Trust.
Onward to a STIGMA FREE NJ in 2020!