GLEN ROCK, NJ -- The borough is holding its first in a series of stigma-free events, a panel discussion titled “Taking the Stigma Out of … Anxiety," Mayor Bruce Packer announced yesterday.

The event, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 25 at Borough Hall.

Led by Relational and Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist Dr. Kevin Brennan, the panel will explore what causes anxiety, how anxiety manifests in different individuals, and who Glen Rock residents can turn to for help. The panelists are experts from the community, including certified school counselor Dana Pavese, Ed.S., LPC; local resident Holly Goshin; neurodevelopmental pediatrician Dr. Hugh Bases; Father Mark Collins of All Saints Episcopal Church; and Rabbi Jennifer Schlosberg of the Glen Rock Jewish Center. 

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On Feb. 14, the Glen Rock governing body passed a resolution designating the municipality a Stigma-Free Zone in order to create an environment in which residents could feel free to seek treatment for mental illness without the fear of being stigmatized. 

As a result of the resolution, the Borough formed a Stigma-Free Task Force dedicated to raising awareness about mental illness as a disease and devoted to creating a culture in which residents feel supported by their community, ultimately to feel free to seek treatment for the disease without fear of stigma.  

“I’m thrilled to have Glen Rock join other towns in Bergen County on this essential initiative,” said Packer.  “No one in our community should live in isolation because of mental health concerns.”

According to a statement released yesterday, "One in four adults experiences a diagnosable mental illness every year, but many individuals do not seek help because of fear of shame or judgment from friends, family and coworkers." 

Committee members include Mayor Packer, Councilwoman Dr. Arati Kreibich, Board of Education trustee and psychologist Dr. Kevin Brennan, and community representatives Holly Goshin and Jennifer Russo.

Information on the Glen Rock Stigma-Free Task Force is available at https://bit.ly/2RCQnHE .