Posted Tuesday, May 17th, 2016


The Morris County Freeholders have proclaimed May, 2016, as Mental Health Awareness month in Morris County, asking residents to be more understanding and supportive of county residents who battle mental health issues.

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Morris County Freeholders declare May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Morris County (caption below)

“We are asking county residents to fight the stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for those who suffer from mental illness,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo. “One in five Americans suffer from mental illness and many of them live and work and go to school right here in Morris County. They could be your neighbor, friend, and co-worker or loved one.’’

The proclamation was issued at the May 11 Freeholder Board meeting in Morristown to Marcy McMann, chair of the Morris County Mental Health Addictions Services Advisory Board, and Morris County Mental Health Administrator Laurie Becker.

Also on hand were Bob Parker, executive director of NewBridge Services, and the CEO of St. Clare’s Hospital Dover, Alma Ratcliffe, and the CEO of St. Clare’s Hospital Denville, Brian Finestein.

Mental health conditions are a leading cause of disabilities, affecting people of all backgrounds and all ages, and are collectively more common than cancer, lung and heart disease combined. Adequate treatment and recovery support can enable people to reclaim full and productive lives.


But many of those people who still suffer from mental illness or even those who have recovered can be stigmatized, causing issues at work and home, and in their social lives.

“May is recognized as mental health month across the nation to raise public awareness and understanding that mental health is critical for the well-being and vitality of individuals, families, communities and businesses,’’ the Freeholders stated in their proclamation.

“Whereas, Morris County has been designated a Stigma-Free Community and will foster a culture wherein individuals with mental health and substance use disorders feel free to seek treatment; and
“Whereas, Morris County Mental Health Addictions Services Advisory Board and the County’s publicly-funded agencies have made a commitment to mental health care for all residents;

“Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Morris County, New Jersey, proclaims May 2016 as Mental Health Awareness Month in Morris County, and calls upon all of its residents to participate in efforts to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions.’’

For more information on mental health services in Morris County, visit the following:

Photo Caption: (l/r) Freeholders Doug Cabana, Deborah Smith, Amie Braca Deo of St. Clare’s Hospital, Freeholders John Cesaro and Kathy DeFillippo, Marcy McMann, Christa Simons and Danielle Perri of the Mental Health Association of Morris County, Executive Director of NewBridge Services Bob Parker, Laurie Becker,  St. Clare’s Hospital-Dover CEO Alma Ratcliffe, St. Clare’s Hospital – Denville CEO Brian Finestein, and Freeholder Christine Myers