Monday, May 9th, 2011

A free public forum for individuals and their families who have been involved with or who want to learn more about Morris County’s publicly-funded human services will be held June 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center, 60C North Jefferson Road in Whippany.

The forum, The Many Faces of Recovery, Self Help & Beyond, will be conducted by the Morris County Mental Health Substance Abuse Advisory Board.

The freeholder-appointed board is looking for input on services and unmet needs as it works to strengthen the county’s services, according to board chair LaJuan Tucker.

Agency and government officials will be on hand to address the public’s questions and comments, Tucker said. Information gathered at the forum will help the advisory board focus its planning efforts on the areas of greatest need, said Tucker.

The forum will spotlight how self help is able to contribute to the recovery process, said Valerie Fox, a member of the forum’s planning committee.

According to Fox, the forum will feature a presentation from a young Morris County woman who will detail how a self help program offered through St. Clare’s Health System made a positive difference in her recovery from mental illness.

Tucker said the advisory board will welcome public comments in a number of areas, including vocational and employment opportunities, housing and support services, consumer involvement, empowerment and advocacy, education and healthcare.

The forum, sponsored by the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Morris County Department of Human Services, will begin with a light supper and networking at 5:30 p.m.

More information may be obtained by calling the Morris County Mental Health Administrator Laurie Becker at 973-285-6852.

The Morris County Mental Health Substance Abuse Advisory Board reviews, monitors and recommends areas of improvement for many of the county’s mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention programs. The board also makes funding recommendations for publicly-funded programs that serve these populations.