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Posted Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Stigma-Free Morris County poster


Morris County Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo spoke about the opioid epidemic plaguing the nation, state and our own county in remarks made at the Freeholder Board’s Annual Meeting earlier this month.

Please listen to her brief comments and join in the countywide Stigma-Free initiative. Take the Stigma-Free pledge today.

To learn more about the countywide Stigma-Free initiative, find resources, read the latest Stigma-Free news, and take a look at the a calendar of upcoming events related to mental illness and substance abuse, visit the Stigma Free website at https://morriscountystigmafree.org/

photo of Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo

Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo

A Stigma Free Toolkit also is available for towns and communities.

Twenty-six of Morris County’s 39 towns have joined the Morris County “Stigma Free’’ initiative that aims to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Some of the towns, such as Hanover Township and Rockaway Borough, have become leaders in this grass roots effort.

This initiative recognizes the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders in our communities, and promotes re-education and understanding that can help lead to treatment and recovery – minus the stigma associated with these illnesses.

“Mine Hill is happy to join this vital and important initiative,’’ said Mine Hill Mayor Sam Morris, whose town joined the initiative in late October. “It’s important for people who are encountering a mental health or dependency issue to feel free from stigma and embarrassment.

“None of us would scorn someone who needs medical help with diabetes or a heart condition. It should be the same consideration for people with mental illness and dependency as well,” Mayor Moris added.

 Stigma-Free towns include Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover, Jefferson, Long Hill, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mine Hill, Montville, Morris Plains, Morristown, Morris Township, Mountain Lakes, Parsippany, Pequannock, Randolph, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury, and Washington Township, plus the Montville and Hanover school districts.

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labeled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. Stigma brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept help.