Saint Clare's Health Launching Public Campaign to End Discrimination Against People Living with Mental Health and Substance Ab

Saint Clare's Health Launching Public Campaign to End Discrimination Against People Living with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders!

04-27-2017
Health system teams up with local government and organizations to address need for a
Stigma-Free Morris County and spearheads initiatives


April 20, 2017 (Denville, NJ) – Mental and substance use disorders will surpass all
physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide by 2020, according to the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).

In response to those startling statistics and the increasing demand for mental health and
substance abuse services in New Jersey, Saint Clare’s Health is launching a campaign
during National Mental Health Awareness Month, culminating in a Stigma-free
celebration on Wednesday, May 10, 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital
Urban Auditorium located at 25 Pocono Road in Denville.

The campaign is part of a countywide initiative to end discrimination and negative
attitudes towards people with mental illness or substance abuse and features 10
courageous individuals who are sharing their stories to help break the stigma.
“One in four adults experiences a diagnosable mental illness every year and many of
these individuals do not seek help because of fear of shame or judgment from friends,
family and coworkers,” said Brian Finestein, Chief Executive Officer of Denville Hospital
and Saint Clare’s Behavioral Health centers. “As one of the state’s leading providers of
behavioral health services, it is our responsibility to help spur this stigma-free movement
forward.”

“The Stigma Free initiative is an important step in educating all of us to understand the
problems facing individual residents and families who have to deal with mental illness
and substance abuse, and how these illnesses can destroy their lives,’’ said Morris
County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “The goal is to helping affected people seek
recovery, without fear of stigma or reprisal.’’

Saint Clare’s Health initially partnered with the Morris County Board of Freeholders and
mayors of Boonton Township, Dover, Mountain Lakes, and Sparta, who have signed
resolutions to create an environment of support and acceptance within their
communities. The partnership also aims to make it easier for people and families to
connect with the services and resources they need.

Saint Clare’s is also offering Mental Health First Aid to public, schools, local police
departments and first responders. A free four part Behavioral Health Seminar Series for
the public is also launching; In Our Own Voice: Stories of Recovery, ECT: An Alternative
Treatment for Depression, Suicide Prevention: Youth at Risk, and Life After Rehab:
Maintaining Sobriety in Your Community.

Morris County Freeholders passed a resolution supporting the designation of a Stigma-
Free Community on April 27, 2016. Since then, more than 17 municipalities have joined
the movement, including the latest additions of Boonton Township, Dover, Mountain
Lakes, and Sparta.

About Saint Clare’s Health

Saint Clare’s Health is an award-winning provider of safe, high quality, compassionate
care, serving the communities of Morris and Sussex counties. Its network of hospitals
and healthcare facilities include Denville Hospital, Dover Hospital, Behavioral Health
centers in Boonton, Denville, and Parsippany, Sussex Health Center, and an Imaging
Center in Parsippany, among other satellite offices. Saint Clare’s Health is a member of
Prime Healthcare.

About Morris County Stigma Free Initiative

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2016 designated Morris County as a Stigma-
Free County and asked the county’s 39 towns to consider enrolling. The goal of the
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
substance abuse and mental illness. Morris County has created a Stigma Free website
www.morriscountystigmafree.org to call attention to the initiative, provide information and
resources, and a calendar of upcoming events related to mental illness and substance
abuse. A Stigma Free Toolkit also is available for towns and communities.
Categories: News