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Adults Who Interact With Teens Offered Free Youth Mental Health First Aid Training


With teenage suicide rates on an upswing, a barrage of tragedies in the news, and the heightened pressures of adolescence in a media-frenzied world, it’s more important than ever for caring adults to know how to intervene effectively.

Morris County again this year is funding Youth Mental Health First Aid training through NewBridge Services for adults who regularly interact with children ages 12 to 18. The eight-hour, evidence-based training teaches parents, caregivers, educators, youth leaders and others the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and addiction in adolescents, and more importantly, how to reach out to them.

“With so many communities going stigma-free, this is a great way to start to educate residents about mental health issues and ways to reach out to young people who need assistance,” NewBridge Services Director of Community Response and Education Mary Vineis said. 

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“This is vital training that can make a difference in the lives of our young people,” Morris County Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo said. “The freeholder board is proud to work with NewBridge Services to bring this important training to our community here in Morris County.” DeFillippo serves as the freeholder board’s liaison on human services issues.

The Youth Mental Health First Aid training is particularly valuable for educators, school support staff, coaches, and religious leaders who work with teens, as well as parents, Vineis said.

Last year, NewBridge trained more than 120 people in Youth Mental Health First Aid and more than 60 in Mental Health First Aid for adults. NewBridge also offers training specifically for public safety professionals and educators in higher education.

Butler resident Chris Ziegler went through the training after his daughter’s 15-year-old friend and classmate died tragically last May. “I wanted to know more of what we could do as a community,” said Ziegler, who gave NewBridge’s Youth Mental Health First Aid training rave reviews. “You learn ways to let young people know you recognize something is going on, and that you’re willing to help.”

Mental illness affects an estimated one in five adolescents, yet less than half of preteens and teens with disorders get treatment, Vineis said. Recognizing the difference between normal growing-up behaviors and mental disorders is crucial. Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24.

Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches a five-step action plan. Anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including ADHD), and eating disorders are among the topics covered.

The grant from Morris County will allow NewBridge to provide six community sessions free of charge to participants. The cost is normally $170 per participant. Community leaders and residents interested in taking the training can contact Vineis at or 973-686-2228.

About NewBridge 

NewBridge Services, a 501c(3) nonprofit, is a premier provider of counseling services, housing and educational programs in northern New Jersey serving nearly 8,000 adults and seniors last year alone. NewBridge treats mental illnesses and addictions; teaches skills for coping with stress, grief and challenging relationships; builds and manages affordable housing; offers school-based programs that teach children and adolescents resiliency skills for healthy emotional development; helps young adults succeed in their education and prepare for careers; and supports seniors so they can remain independent. Throughout its more than 50-year history, NewBridge has remained true to its mission of bringing balance to people’s lives by tracking shifts in communities’ needs and providing innovative, effective programs to meet them.

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A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, March 19 – Sunday, March 25, 2018


At the latest meeting of the Library of The Chathams Board of Trustees on February 27, Chatham Township Representative Kevin Sullivan administered the oath of office to Thomas E. Browne and Bill Holmes.  Welcome on board (pun intended), Tom and Bill!  Here is the complete list of current members:

Board of Trustees

Andy Hollander, ...

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, March 12 – Sunday, March 18, 2018


By Galina Natenzon

After the storm of the Annual Friends’ Book Sale (no, not the snowstorm), the library is returning to relative peace and quiet.  The sale continues with Bag Sale ($8 for a large bag of books) on Monday, Tuesday, and until most books are sold.

For information about all programs or to sign up, please call the library at 973‑635‑0603 or go ...

Proud of Chatham Township Residents During "Weather Events"

March 13, 2018

To the Editor

As I watch the next “Weather Event” cross my computer screen I am compelled not to roll my eyes in hopelessness to but reflect on the incredible response of helpfulness I have seen throughout the Chatham Township Community over the last several days. 

We are a rural community with dozen of miles of winding road yet we have seen our volunteer first ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Chatham Democrats Hold "Meet Mikie Sherrill" Event Wednesday at Charlie Brown's

March 18, 2018

Come out to meet Mikie Sherrill, a candidate for the 11th Congressional district, in Chatham Township this Wednesday night at Charlie Browns - this is a free event, open to the public.

Ms. Sherrill has been profiled in the New York Times, Politico, Rolling Stone, and Glamour Magazine and has been labled a "must watch" candidate. She is a Naval Academy graduate, veteran ...