Inaugural event looks to address the policy complexities surrounding the attacks of 9/11

HIGHLAND PARK, NJ — On Sunday, September 11, 2016, the Borough of Highland Park will host the first of a series of discussions that explore the many policy complexities brought forth by the worst terror attack on American soil.

The series, "September 11: A Day of Discussion," will launch with a conversation on "Destigmatizing Mental Health Care,” on Sunday, September 11, 2016, 1 p.m., at the Highland Park High School cafeteria, 102 North 5th Avenue, Highland Park, NJ.

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“All too often, If asked about the policy implications of September 11, many individuals would certainly respond with a simple answer: War,” said Greg Trevor, a Highland Park resident and event organizer. “But what about the many other themes that day represents? Religion, terrorism, race, wellness and access to emergency mental health, and dwindling resources for first responders must be part of the discussion,” he added.

Featured speakers will include Highland Park resident Beth Angell, an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Rutgers. Angell is also a member of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel that recently called for a national strategy to reduce stigma toward people with mental and substance use disorders.

Also featured is Highland Park resident Susan Polkowski, a member of the Highland Park Board of Health who has worked directly with 9/11 responders.

Dr. Jeffrey Axelbank, a Highland Park resident and psychologist, will facilitate a community discussion that will provide opportunities to identify specific issues, as well as small groups to address these issues and start to develop some action plans.