Mendhams Stigma-Free Task Force Information & Resources

If you, a family member or friend are experiencing an urgent mental health crisis, call 911.

Youth Referrals - Questions frequently asked by parents seeking mental health treatment for their children from the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.

What is the Stigma-Free Task Force?

The Mendhams Stigma-Free Task Force is a volunteer group of residents across the township and borough, including mental health professionals. The Task Forces partners with school officials, the police, clergy and outside professional and nonprofit organizations.

Township Committeewoman Amalia Duarte serves as the Chair, with Mary Kornick, as the Mendham Borough liaison.

The mission of the Task Force is to foster a judgment-free environment around mental health issues and substance abuse and also to create inclusion for people with special needs, disabilities and any other “difference” that can make them feel marginalized, sidelined and not accepted.

Studies show that one in four adults will experience a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. Yet, more than half will not seek treatment. Why? Despite its prevalence in our society, mental health still has stigma attached to it. The same applies to substance abuse.

The main reasons cited for not seeking help are shame and fear of judgment from friends, family and co-workers.

The goal is for all residents to feel welcomed and treated equally, with respect and empathy. Let’s end the stigma!

COVID-19 Specific Resources:

NJMentalHealthCares - If you are feeling the emotional and mental toll of COVID-19, call (866-202-4327) for free, confidential support from trained specialists 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

CDC - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips for coping with stress.

Hotlines:

Crisis Text Line - Free 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the United States to get support from a trained crisis counselor.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Offers free and confidential support for people in distress. (800-273-TALK)

NJ Hopeline - Specialists are available 24/7 for confidential telephone counseling and support. (855-NJ-HOPELINE - 855-654-6735)

2ND FLOOR  - A confidential, anonymous helpline for New Jersey's youth and young adults to help find solutions to the problems at home, at school or at play. (call or text - 888-222-2228)

ReachNJ.gov - Helps individuals identify, prevent, treat and recover from substance abuse. Call to speak with a resource officer and find the nearest treatment facility. (844-Reach-NJ)

NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Health) - Helpline staffed Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (800-950-6264).  In a crisis, text "NAMI" to 741741 for 24/7, confidential, free crisis counseling.

AA Phone Meetings - Find an AA phone meeting.

NA Phone Meetings - Find an NA (Narcotics Anonymous) phone meeting.

Jersey Battered Women’s Service, Inc. (JBWS) - Trained staff and volunteers are ready 24/7 to provide information, assist with safety planning or just listen and provide support. (877-782-2873)

Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris County - This peer-to-peer support line is a “warm-line” for non-crisis support, assistance and reassurance/understanding. Available 365 days a year from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (877-760-4987); (866-445-3902); (800-381-2059).

Additional Resources:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention NJ Chapter - The New Jersey Chapter is fueled by the mission to save lives by providing education and support to the Garden State.

Mental Health America - Mental Health America’s programs and initiatives fulfill its mission of promoting mental health and preventing mental illness through advocacy, education, research and services. MHA’s national office and its 200+ affiliates and associates around the country work every day to protect the rights and dignity of individuals with lived experience and ensure that peers and their voices are integrated into all areas of the organization.

New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) - The state’s largest agency. It serves about 2.1 million, or about one of every five state residents and one out of every three children.

Morris County Department of Human Services - Provides help and assistance to residents in need, from children to families to seniors. Services provided by the department include financial and emergency assistance, access to mental health and substance abuse services, job training and support, prevention services for youth, support for veterans, transportation for elderly and disabled, meals on wheels and adult protective services for vulnerable adults at risk of abuse.

Morris/Sussex ResourceNet - Provides a wide range of information about support, resources, and services for families in Morris and Sussex counties. Check out their behavioral/mental health directory for information on local providers.

Respite House - A safe alternative to an inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. As a peer-run initiative, Respite staff provide 24/7 peer to peer support in working through a mental health crisis. The Respite House provides a comfortable setting in which guests can establish positive coping skills and become empowered to establish healthy habits and routines. For more information, call 862-239-9896.

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide - The mission is to reduce the number of youth suicides and attempted suicides by encouraging public awareness through the development and promotion of educational training programs.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - The agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.

The Trevor Project - Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ + youth.

True North - Offers behavioral health services to any veteran or family member from Morris & Sussex Counties, regardless of discharge status or insurance coverage. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Atlantic Behavioral Health ACCESS Services at 1-888-247-1400.

Community Organizations & Support Groups

Active Minds - Leading nonprofit organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking.  With more than 400 chapters nationwide, they are changing the culture on campuses and in the community by providing information, leadership opportunities and advocacy training to the next generation.

Mending Arts - Offers therapeutic workshops formed to improve the lives of children and adolescents suffering from the painful challenges of trauma, loss, separation, maltreatment, serious illness, or disability. For more information call Family Intervention Services: Allison Zeis, mending arts program coordinator or Ingrid Vaca-Bullaro, regional director at 973-586-5243.

Mental Health First Aid Training - An 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Morris Community Wellness Center - Providing peer-led services to grow beyond mental health and co-occurring challenges in Morris County for more than 20 years. At the center, they have computer access, an exercise area, and community meals. They link people to employment, give computer support, and volunteer. Ongoing groups at the center include Anxiety & Depression, Mindful Living, and the Hearing Voices Network.

Morris County ID Card - A partnership of the Morris County Sheriff and Human Services offices, providing Morris County Identification Cards for residents ages 18 – 54 who may not have a driver’s license or just want another form of identification. These cards are used for identification purposes only and may not be accepted by certain agencies that require a state ID (such as a driver’s license).

NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group - A free, peer-led support group for adults living with mental illness. You will gain insight from hearing the challenges and successes of others living with mental illness. By sharing experiences in a safe and confidential setting, you gain hope and develop relationships. The group encourages empathy, productive discussions and a sense of community.

Parent-To-Parent - Grassroots coalition for parents and loved ones who are suffering the ravaging effects of substance abuse. It continues to fight the stigma associated with substance abuse.

SMART Recovery - SMART Recovery is a nationwide, nonprofit organization which offers free support groups to individuals who desire to gain independence from any type of addictive behavior. SMART Recovery also offers a free Internet Message Board discussion group, and sells publications related to recovery from addictive behavior.

Remembering TJ - On December 1, 2010, 16-year-old cherished son, brother, friend, varsity athlete and honor student T.J. Sefcik died by suicide.  In the hopes of preventing other teens from following the same path, T.J.’s parents, Wendy and Steve, and his brother, Matt, share T.J.’s story of living with depression. Learn more about Remembering T.J. or contact Wendy Sefcik at 908-227-8481 or wendy@sefcikprod.com.

TLC4teens - Provides resources for teens and adults facing challenges related to everyday life. Hotlines are available for teens in crisis. Everyone could use some support from time to time. Seeking help is never a weakness.

Five Ways You Can Help Create a Stigma-Free Future!

1.    Don’t blame people who have mental illness or substance use disorders.

2.    Always treat people with respect and encourage others around you to do the same.

3.    Lead with kindness.

4.    Teach your children to be open-minded and nonjudgmental about others.

5.    Take the Morris County Pledge to be Stigma-Free