By: Follow South Jersey Staff
WEST DEPTFORD, N.J. – May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues and to work to reduce the stigma it can often carry.
Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness each year. Between September 29 and October 11, in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, 28.6% of adults in New Jersey reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder. Adults in New Jersey reporting any mental illness in 2018-2019 was 16.4%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on national health issues and the U.S. role in global health policy.
In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, Gloucester County Division of Human and Special Services is reminding all residents that Mental Health Services are available.
The Office of Mental Health collaborates with state and local partners for the planning and resource development for our citizens with mental health issues.
“The last two years put a tremendous amount of stress on the entire country,” Commissioner Director Frank J. DiMarco said in a press release from the county. “The stress and anxiety you are feeling is normal, and professionals are available to help talk to you if you need assistance. It’s important to remember to check in with yourself and evaluate how the pandemic and the many changes that come with it are making you feel.”
Gloucester County’s Mental Health Services have put together a resource page to help you find the right contact for your needs. The Mental Health Office also maintains the Recovery Library.
The Recovery Library is Pat Deegan’s on-demand online collection of inspiration and tools to support recovery and wellness, with thousands of multimedia resources. This library features first-person accounts of mental health recovery, addiction recovery, and wellness; mental health, physical health, and substance use resources; worksheets, calendars and pre-designed group content; no advertisements and you can download, print or favorite resources. This service is completely free after registering and can be accessed by any internet-ready computer or mobile device.
“Many individuals suffer with Mental Illness,” Commissioner Jim Jefferson, liaison to Division of Human and Special Services, said. “We want to ensure that every resident feels heard, understood and educated as possible right now. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There is no stigma in Gloucester County around asking for assistance.”
Anyone who is feeling overwhelmed and needs someone to talk to can call the NJ Warm Line 1-877-294-4357. To see the mental health resources Gloucester County visit: https://gloucestercountynj.gov/649/Resources.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in need. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, speak with someone today. Help is available.
Beginning July 16, 2022, 988 will become the nationwide 3-digit dialing code for mental health crisis and suicide prevention, connecting callers with the mental health crisis/suicide prevention system. It will replace the 1-800 number currently used by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
To learn more about the Office of Mental Health, call 856-384-6889 or visit https://gloucestercountynj.gov/648/Office-of-Mental-Health.
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