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Mental Health Association in NJ Shines Light on Co-Occurring Disorders at Annual Evening of Excellence Gala

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Austin Eubanks, Columbine Survivor and Behavioral Health and Addiction Expert
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The Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) will host its 19th Annual Evening of Excellence on June 19 at 6 p.m. at Galloping Hill Golf Course, 3 Golf Drive, in Kenilworth. The annual banquet is a key fundraising event for the MHANJ, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and adults achieve victory over mental illness and substance use disorders through advocacy, education, training, and services. NJ State Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the event, which will shed a light on co-occurring disorders and honor several state leaders and treatment facilities for their excellence and dedication to behavioral health.

Austin Eubanks, Columbine shooting survivor and nationally recognized speaker in the field of addiction treatment, will present this year’s keynote address. As an individual in long-term recovery, Austin has dedicated his career to helping individuals who, like him, have also turned to substances following trauma. His keynote will focus on the co-occurring nature of mental health and substance use disorders and the importance of seeking help. He has previously shared his expert commentary on Face The Nation, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, Fox News, Ted Talks and CNN.

“The Mental Health Association in NJ has been a consistent force and leader in advocacy, focused on increasing access to care for individuals coping with mental health and/or substance use disorders,” said Carolyn Beauchamp, President and CEO, Mental Health Association in NJ. “This night is dedicated to elevating awareness of co-occurring disorders and honoring excellence in leadership and treatment.”

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During the event, three individuals will be honored by the MHANJ for their roles as distinguished behavioral health leaders in New Jersey:

  • William Waldman, MSW, CSWM, former Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services and the outgoing Chair of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey Board of Trustees, will receive the 2018 MHANJ Golden Bell Achievement Award
  • Rocky Schwartz, Family Support Coordinator, NJ Parity Coalition, will receive a Leadership Award
  • Robert Gordon, Former NJ Senator, will receive a Leadership Award

The Evening of Excellence will also feature a Spotlight on Excellence in Co-Occurring Treatment, recognizing six treatment facilities for best practices in treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. The honorees include: Behavioral Crossroads, CarePlus NJ, Carrier Clinic, CPC Behavioral Healthcare, New Hope Integrated Behavioral Healthcare, and Summit Oaks Hospital.

Corporate sponsors for the Evening of Excellence include: Investors Bank, RWJBarnabas Health, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Wakefern Shoprite, Summit Oaks Hospital, Carrier Clinic, Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, Endeavor House, Heritage Fire, MWW PR, Mutual of America, Seabrook House, Saint Clare’s Behavioral Health and Trinitas Regional Medical Center Department of Psychiatry. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Merrill Altberg at 973-571-4100, ext. 128 for more information.

The event will feature a silent auction and a networking hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres, complimentary beer, wine, and soda, and a cash bar. Tickets are available at $150 and preregistration is required. To register or for more information, visit https://mhanj.salsalabs.org/evening/index.html or contact Kate Koskie at 973-571-4100, ext. 123.

 

About the Mental Health Association in New Jersey

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) is a statewide nonprofit organization that strives for children and adults to achieve victory over mental illness and substance use disorders through advocacy, education, training, and services. A consistent force and leader in advocacy and focus on policy, MHANJ increases access to care for people coping with mental illness and/or substance use disorders from all walks of life. MHANJ is dedicated to breaking down the barrier of stigma which deters people from seeking treatment and leading people to hope and recovery. MHANJ is a state affiliate of Mental Health America, the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. For more information, please visit www.mhanj.org.

 

About NJ Connect for Recovery

NJ Connect for Recovery (NJCR), a service of the Mental Health Association in NJ (MHANJ), was established as a free, confidential call line focused on helping individuals and families coping with substance use disorders achieve recovery. NJCR provides a safe, confidential, nonjudgmental place that New Jersey residents may call to connect directly to Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Peer Specialists and Public and Private Insurance Specialists. NJCR offers a series of programs statewide, including free family education workshops and insurance navigation community workshops. Call (855) 652-3737 for immediate guidance and support and to get your substance use disorder questions answered. For more information about NJ Connect for Recovery and its full range of community resources and services, please visit www.njconnectforrecovery.org.

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