FLEMINGTON, NJ (Hunterdon County) – The Hunterdon County Historic Courthouse on Main Street in Flemington will display green lights, the color associated with Mental Health Awareness, throughout the month, as the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners recognize May as Mental Health Awareness month and the county continues to be a Stigma Free Zone.
The County Commissioners approved a Proclamation at the May 4th board meeting stating their support for mental health and the county’s Department of Human Services’ dedication to providing mental health services and support.
Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren, liaison to the Human Services Department, said, “Mental health is just as important as physical health and navigating the behavioral health system can be difficult, especially when in crisis. The county’s Human Services Department provides coordination, advocacy and links to treatment options, community and inpatient mental health services, residential program information and educational opportunities.”
Board Director Susan J. Soloway said, “In January, I joined Deputy Director John Lanza, Sheriff Fred Brown, and the Human Services Department in initiating the Hope One Van program for Hunterdon County, which is providing mobile mental health resources to anyone experiencing mental health illness.
“The Board and I feel it is important to continue bringing this message to the forefront, especially as we start to recover as a community from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Soloway said.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Hunterdon Hope One Van will be in Clinton at the Red Mill Museum, 56 Main Street, on May 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., to support the STOMP OUT Stigma event, hosted by the Rotary District 7475.
Human Services Director Meagan Q. O’Reilly said, “Mental illness is not different from other illnesses, except for how society treats those who are afflicted by it. To help combat the stigma associated with mental illness; our department hosts a Stigma Free taskforce meeting monthly. We also partner with several organizations who are important allies for those experiencing mental health illnesses.
“Stigma often delays treatment, sometimes as much as ten years, which makes intervention and support critical. If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health illness, remember you are not alone, help is always available,” O’Reilly said.
“Hunterdon County is proud to continue to be a Stigma Fee Zone,” Soloway said.
To join the Stigma Free taskforce, call 908-788-1253 for the Assistant Mental Health Administrator, Stacey Becker or visit their website.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideations, call 1-855-NJHopeline (654-6735) or 1-800-273- 8255 for immediate help.