CHATHAM, NJ - The Borough of Chatham Council has voted to join the Morris County “Stigma Free’’ initiative, passing a resolution to make Chatham the 19th town in Morris County to join the countywide effort to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

“It is critical that we raise awareness and promote the available resources for a mission to assist those challenged by this illness," Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris said.  "Indeed, I am proud to add Chatham Borough to the list of communities who embrace the Stigma-Free movement."

Chatham Borough joins recently announced participants, Mendham Borough, Mountain Lakes, Roxbury, and Washington Township as Stigma Free communities in Morris County.

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Other participants are the town of Boonton, Boonton Township, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover, Jefferson, Long Hill, Madison, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Parsippany, Rockaway Borough and Rockaway Township

In addition, the Montville Publc Schools recently became the first K-12 District in Morris County to enroll in the initiative, and Sparta in Susex County also has been the first Sussex County town to do so.

"We are really heartened by the support shown for this Stigma-Free initiative by towns, like Chatham Borough, and so many health providers and agencies, and our county residents,’’ Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana said. “This initiative is an important step in helping affected people seek recovery, without fear of stigma or reprisal.’’

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2016 passed a resolution designating Morris County as a Stigma-Free County and asked the county’s 39 towns to consider enrolling.

Morris County has created a Stigma Free website www.morriscountystigmafree.org to call attention to the initiative, provide information and resources, and a calendar of upcoming events related to mental illness and substance abuse. A Stigma Free Toolkit also is available for towns and communities. Also, check the Stigma Free news and calendar site at https://morriscountystigmafree.org/news/