Other NJ News

Little Falls Plans To Launch Stigma Free Initiative This Fall

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - The Township of Little Falls is looking to start a Stigma Free program beginning this fall.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Councilwoman Maria Martini Cordonnier. In her committee report as school district liaison during the June 12 council meeting, she noted that she had attended a Stigma Free event at a school in Morris County recently.

"I attended this annual event with Little Falls schools superintendent Tracy Marinelli," said Cordonnier. "They've been doing this for about four years and we'd like to do something as well because they're really doing a great thing."

Sign Up for E-News

According to Cordonnier, after speaking with Mayor James Damiano, the township is now planning to begin its own Stigma Free initiative in October.

"It's not just during the month of October we want to highlight this initiative, but we want to begin a whole ongoing program in association with our township's municipal alliance," she added.

The Morris County Stigma Free Communities initiative is a countywide program, which aims to eradicate the stigma associate with mental illness and substance use disorders. It's an effort dedicated to creating an environment that supports affected individuals towards achieving wellness and recovery by raising awareness of these illnesses, according to their press release.

The Borough of Woodland Park also recently began a Stigma Free Task Force. Founded last fall it is comprised of various residents, health care providers, educators, business owners, elected officials, clergy, law enforcement, fire and first aid volunteers, library staff, and others working together to bring awareness to the conditions of mental health. The group aims to also provide education, information and assistance to those who suffer from mental illness.

Several recent events locally and nationally have also brought to light the growing heroin addiction problem plaguing teens and young adults. Police believe that a heroin overdose was the cause of death of Passaic Valley High School student in April. In response, the high school recently held a community forum on substance abuse and recovery. A screening of the documentary "Generation Found," which focuses on the alarming rate of youth addiction, was aired. Following the screening, panelists, many who dealt with addiction, held a questions and answer session for attendees.

A former resident of the Passaic Valley area, who wished to remain anonymous, and suffers from complex Post Trauma Stress Syndrome, said towns and cities that have started awareness programs and initiatives are taking steps in the right direction in order to help those suffering from mental health issues and addiction.

"Mental health ranges fluctuate in people," he said. "It's great that there is much so more awareness and information out there now than was available years ago."

He added that he faced many challenges as a youngster that became underlying behavioral factors for him, which led to his diagnosis as an adult. One of the cause issues he says now, was that his family left him no explanation for certain events that occurred when he was a child, which is why he felt he acted they way he did.

"Mental health issues are two-fold - behavioral and biological issues with the brain," he explained. "It's only when people get older that they can analyze circumstances when they were children. I can only focus on my behavior and how I react now. What we need to keep in mind is that we all have a mental condition that can change based on our situations and memories. We all go through low points, and we all come from elements of suffering."

Now an educator, he says he tries to help people, and in particular, some of his students who may by exhibiting potential mental health issues. He said he has helped implement a program to assist students in understanding their issues, working together with administrators, counselors and faculty, to generate not only awareness, but readiness to assist students. He believes programs like these will become quite normalized in high schools and higher education in the near future. 

"'Look at your issue,' I say to them," he added. "Some of my students have revealed that they may have had suicidal thoughts. I think I've helped them by giving them some options, which has potentially saved lives. This has happened on more than one occasion. When I see young people in crisis, I direct them to a counselor, and with guidance and information that they receive, it has helped save their lives. It's important to be present for someone and not blowing off whatever it is he or she might be going through. It's about deep listening and loving speech."

He also said that some issues that affected him later in life and that set him back were losing his close friend who died during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on 9/11, a divorce, and losing his beloved sister to cancer.

"I spent five years in a fog," he added. "What helped me after was therapy and meditation, and learning to be open and speak about it."

Additionally, he said that people need to be really open and listen to individuals who are victims of trauma, particularly those who have been victimized in any way by others.

"The perpetrators of a crime need their victims to be silent, but the victims need to act. So many victims remain passive. The problem is that our society still has many people who side with the perpetrator and not the victim," he explained.

He further added that there are so many individuals who may find themselves in deep financial or relationship stress these days.

"They may be struggling to get by day-to-day and need help," he noted. "That's why the Stigma Free Task Force programs that are developing in cities and towns these days is a good thing and very much needed."

He also highlighted the April 2017 issue of The Sun, entitled, "An Open Mind: Sera Davidow Questions What We Think We Know About Mental Illness," by Tracy Frisch.

"Sera Davidow was the victim of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse as a child and has established a very progressive and alternative way to assist people with more profound illness. The information might be useful to many out there who suffer from mental illness."

Arnold Korotkin, a Little Falls resident, who teaches a course at Montclair State University that focuses on the world of people with disabilities, and who was a mental health program and policy consultant for the New York City Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services, applauded the township’s decision to join the national campaign to establish Little Falls as a Stigma Free community.

Korotkin noted that according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, every year approximately 20% of New Jersey residents are affected with a mental illness condition that may include depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, which could impede their daily activities, such as going to work and attending school. 

"The objective of the Stigma Free campaign is to create a community environment where persons with mental illness are accepted and respected, while encouraging them to seek community based mental health services that will facilitate their recovery," Korotkin added.

 

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Nutley

Spencer Savings Presents Nutley Public Library Summer Reading Kick-Off

June 23, 2017

NUTLEY, NJ - Spencer Savings BAnk of Nutley presents the Nutley Public Library Kick-Off Party Friday June 23.

The fun will start and 2 p.m. at the Nutley Public Library. 

Two Musical Masters To Take Stage in Art Gallery in Montclair

June 23, 2017

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The sounds of "What If" will be presented in an intimate setting in the 73 See Gallery in Montclair on Sunday afternoon when Stephanie Griffin, principal violist of the Princeton Symphony meets up for a musical match with jazz bassist Hilliard Green to create "daring, utterly beautiful music," said organizers Seed Artists.

Griffin, cofounder of the Momenta ...

Paper Mill Playhouse Receives $40,000 NEA Grant

MILLBURN, NJ - The Paper Mill Playhouse received a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The funding supports the Paper Mill’s “Theatre For Everyone” project, a series of programs that serves the needs of children with autism and other social and cognitive disabilities.

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and ...

Spray Park, Open To The Public, Opens For The Season Saturday in Woodland Park

June 23, 2017

WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The borough spray park, located in Zaccaria Park on Rifle Camp Road, will be open for the season on June 24 and close Sept. 3.
Pricing:

SEASON PASSES: residents - $15; non-residents - $20

DAILY PASSES - $5 per child

Children under 2 are free

Operating hours are as follows:

Saturdays and Sundays - 12 to 4 p.m.

Mondays to Fridays (June 26 to Aug. 11) 4 to 7 ...

Roxbury Amateur Radio Expert Readies for Weekend of Roughing It

ROXBURY, NJ - A Roxbury based group of amateur (“ham”) radio operators is looking for new members and its founder is inviting the public to participate in this weekend’s American Radio Relay League Field Day to get a taste of things at their worst.

 At the event, amateur radio operators will stay outdoors and work around the clock to set up field radio communication ...

The Iconic Surflight Theatre and Showplace Ice Cream Parlor Reopens Today

June 23, 2017

BEACH HAVEN, NJ - Area residents and visitors have missed the Surflight Theatre and Show place Ice Cream parlor these past few years.  The property went into closure a few years but just recently an owner has been found who has made significant changes and improvement. It is with great anticipation that this wonderful theatre and ice cream parlor will reopen on Friday. There is a ...

Great White Shark Mary Lee is 'Loopy' off Jersey Coast

BEACH HAVEN, NJ — After five days of "ping" silence, great white shark Mary Lee has traveled about  20 miles northbound and is now off the Jersey coast between Beach Haven and Long Beach Township, again.

The 16-foot, 3,500-pound shark was last tracked at 6:54 a.m. on June 17 about 15 miles off the shoreline of Long Beach Island — the same area that she visited ...

Nutley Police Blotter June 10 - 16, 2017

June 17, 2017

The Police Blotter is compiled each week by Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari of the Crime Intelligence Public Information Division of the Nutley Police Department.

Please note:  All parties placed under arrest have been assigned a Court date and remain innocent until proven guilty of those charges at their respective hearing.

Medical Calls: 33

Motor Vehicle Accidents: ...

Animal Welfare at Nutley's Annual Fathers Day Street Fair Draws Scrutiny

June 23, 2017

To the Editor: 

I share my concerns with the pony rides as well as the gold fish being given away as prizes at the Father's DAy Street Fair.

I love the street fair and bringing families together to have a great time in a great town (my hometown) however I was very disappointed when I saw they are still handing out live gold fish as prizes. A few years back I was just a  ...

Letter to the Editor: Too Many Unanswered Questions

To the Editor: 

The fire inspector for the Township of Nutley completed an inspection for the town and the state for the property located at 307-309 Franklin Ave. formerly the “bike shop” building. Both were completed on the same day, July 22, 2014, by the same inspector.

 

The town’s report shows a serious fire code violation for the property located at ...

One More Trenton Raid?

June 20, 2017

June is budget month in Trenton; the Governor and state Legislature are seeking to balance the budget in a challenging fiscal situation. Unfortunately, environmental funds top the list of places to find“extra” money to balance the budget.

Just a few months ago, with strong bipartisan support, the state Legislature acted to give voters the opportunity to protect natural resource ...

Fifty Years After Its Release, Sgt. Pepper Remains Relevant

Fifty years after the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the songs on the Beatles’ iconic 1967 album still sound fresh and contemporary. But it is not just the music that has relevancy for life in 2017.

Here are four lessons that Sgt. Pepper offers for today’s audiences:

Lesson 1: Technology

Make great use of technology. It is a marvelous tool, but it is ...

Statement on Affordable Housing and Sanctuary Cities

May 29, 2017

Affordable Housing: With regard to affordable housing: Veterans and citizens with disabilities and special needs should get preference. I am opposed to the court ordered mandates with regard to how many units a community must construct. We have too much judicial and government overreach with regard to issues like this. As Governor I will leave such issues like this in the hands of the people who ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, June 24, 12:00 PM

Mountain Lakes Library, Mountain Lakes

Beginner Violin Demonstration & Open House

Arts & Entertainment Education

Mon, June 26, 9:00 AM

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, Little Falls

Summer Softball Camp at the Yogi Berra Museum

Education Other Sports

Tue, June 27, 1:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Traveling Lantern Theatre Company: The Ribbles ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Witness History as Battle of Short Hills Unfolds at Oak Ridge Park in Clark

June 20, 2017

Union County residents and visitors can partake in a once-in-a-lifetime experience this Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25 at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, when hundreds of uniformed men, women and children stage a re-enactment to commemorate the 240th anniversary of the 1777 Battle of Short Hills.

The two-day event covers everything from dramatic clashes with British regulars to the everyday ...

Special Needs Youth Baseball Night Set for June 16

Summit Community Programs, Summit FMBA, the Summit Fire Department and TryCAN will be hosting its 8th annual baseball night, held to help us celebrate another successful season of recreational activities for our youth with special needs.  The kids and their families will enjoy a fun evening of tailgating (light refreshments) followed by a fun game against the firefighters where our kids ...

Keeping Sam by Joanne Phillips

Keeping Sam by Joanne Phillips (Mirrorball Books, 2015)

 

I belong to a great on-line book service called Bookbub, which daily sends a list of very inexpensive and free titles to download on the Kindle. A lot of the books are junk, but some are classics, and a few give an introduction to an author with whom I am unfamiliar, and sometimes very pleased to find. Such is the case with ...

The Mommy’s Review - Nashville and Atlanta (Plus Chattanooga!) with Kids

My first and last visit to Nashville was about 15 or 16 years ago with my boyfriend (now husband), and I’ve been craving a return trip for a while, especially since I’m such a big fan of the Nashville TV show on ABC. Luckily, we were able to take the kids on a fun trip there recently, and we wound up flying into Nashville and turning our excursion into a mini-road trip with stops in ...

Is Bryce Petty Ready ? And more QB Confusion

New York Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles was interviewed on June 13th. He was asked by the attending media about the quarterback situation with mini camp underway.

Deja vu. Blah, blah, blah. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

When asked why he is still considering Josh McCown at QB when the team is trying to move on to the next generation, Bowles replied, "Even when you go to kindergarten, somebody has ...