Health & Wellness

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Help Prevent Substance Abuse and Promote Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Well-Being in Union County

Do you feel stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed?  Well you are not alone.  Estimates show that only 17 percent of all U.S. adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health and emotional well-being.  Mental, emotional, and behavioral issues, especially among young people, have enormous personal, family, and societal costs.  The annual cost of these disorders was estimated in 2007 to be $247 billion. An estimated one in 5 (or 46 million) people aged 18 or older in the United States had any mental illness in the past year. These issues are not just faced by adults.  In any given year, the percentage of young people with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders is estimated to be between 14 and 20 percent.  Among adults reporting a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder during their lifetime, more than half report that the disorder started in childhood or adolescence.  Mental, emotional, and behavioral health refers to the overall psychological well-being of individuals and includes the presence of positive characteristics, such as the ability to manage stress, demonstrate flexibility under changing conditions, and bounce back from adverse situations. Poor mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being can lead to a variety of problems including substance abuse and suicide. 

 

Prevention, early intervention, and mental health promotion can help assure the health of young children and adolescents. There are several core concepts behind the science of prevention and promotion. Prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders requires a shift in focus.  Instead of addressing a disorder after it occurs, prevention means supporting the healthy development of young people starting at birth. Mental health and physical health go hand in hand. Young people who grow up in good physical health are likely to also have good mental health; similarly, good mental health contributes to good physical health.  Successful prevention must involve many different groups, including informed parents, professional educators (e.g., elementary school teachers), as well as mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals.  Promotion of mental health is essential throughout a young person’s developmental life cycle – from the earliest years of life through adolescence and young adulthood – as well as in a variety of settings such as families, schools,

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neighborhoods, and communities.

 

Over the past week, Union County has recognized some of the main issues we face related to substance abuse and mental health.  To truly impact these issues, we must create a positive environment by focusing on these key elements: create and maintain a safe and secure environment, which includes making children feel valued and comfortable with sharing their problems; ensure positive educational experiences both at home and in school; parents need to be sure that they communicate effectively and often with their child; and limit the presence of alcohol and cigarettes and do not use illicit drugs.  These items have long term, negative consequences for emotional health.  Everyone knows someone.  Preventing substance abuse and promoting mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being makes communities stronger and healthier. It’s something all of us benefit from and something we can all contribute to. We are the ones who can make a difference in Union County through small, yet important actions in our daily lives.

 

Funded by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), Prevention Links will coordinate over the next four years The Health and Wellness Coalition of Union County (HAWC).  The HAWC is a regional coalition serving Union County whose mission is to assess the needs of Union County in order to enhance collaboration and coordinate prevention efforts that foster a drug free lifestyle and create healthy communities.  The HAWC’s vision is by 2017; the Health and Wellness Coalition of Union County will create prevention prepared communities through a collaborative effort to reduce underage drinking, marijuana use, the use of opioids, prescription drugs and new and emerging drugs across the lifespan throughout Union County.   To become a member of the HAWC, please contact Michael Capko at 732-381-4100 or mcapko@preventionlinks.org.

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Berkeley Heights

How to Report Potholes in Union County

April 21, 2018

With the winter weather finally winding down, potholes are a frequent issue for drivers. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders would like you to know there are resources you can use to report them to the proper agency.

"We certainly encourage drivers and commuters to report any pothole they encounter on roads throughout Union County to the responsible authority," said ...

Imagine Holds Annual Board Retreat

Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss held its annual board retreat on Saturday April 14th at its center in Mountainside.  "It was a valuable, thought-provoking, and educational day for all of us," said John Toriello, Chair of Governance.  "The board and staff worked together to establish the goals of the retreat and facilitate the agenda.  It was a great team ...

Due to Popular Demand, Union County Offers More CPR Classes

ROSELLE PARK, NJ -  Due to popular demand, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced, two additional CPR training classes have been added in May. Three sessions were previously scheduled in April and are already fully booked.

All classes are open to the general public.

“I encourage all Union County residents to learn basic first aid and emergency ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

New Providence Borough Council to Cultivate Relationships with County Officials

April 12, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilman Robert Robinson touted the importance of personal relationships with Union County representatives at the Monday, April 9 council meeting.

Union County Freeholders Angel Estrada and Bette Jane Kowalski attended the Street Smart campaign kick-off event prior to the meeting providing the council members with the opportunity to chat face-to-face with the two ...

Student Led #Rally4 Action to Protest Gun Violence Held Friday in Springfield

April 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Fueled partially by their disappointment that students were not allowed to leave school for the nationwide student protest last month, student leaders planned a rally Friday on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado. At 4:30 p.m., students, parents, families, community members met at Chisholm Community Center to register voters, make ...

Student Led #Rally4 Action to Protest Gun Violence Held Friday in Springfield

April 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Fueled partially by their disappointment that students were not allowed to leave school for the nationwide student protest last month, student leaders planned a rally Friday on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado. At 4:30 p.m., students, parents, families, community members met at Chisholm Community Center to register voters, make ...

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