PLAINFIELD, NJ - At this week's City Council meeting, Councilman Cory Storch announced the launch event of the Mental Health Stigma-Free Zone, a collaboration between the City of Plainfield and Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services.
The designation as a Stigma-Free Zone creates an environment in which residents are free to seek mental illness treatment without the fear of being embarrassed or judged.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- 43.8 million, or one in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness in a given year.
- 21.4%, or over one in five youth aged 13-18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8-15, the estimate is 13%.
- An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness, and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
- African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans in the past year, and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.
- Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
- Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., the third leading cause of death for people aged 10-24, and the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-24.
The permit being secured, the kick-off event will take place on Saturday, April 8th at City Hall. Special one-hour mental health first aid classes will be offered, at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Reservations are required, and class size is limited.
For more information, or to RSVP for one of the classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to become an ambassador? The Bridgeway-Plainfield Stigma-Free Zone Campaign is seeking passionate Plainfield residents who embrace the campaign to reduce the stigma that so often surrounds mental illness, and understand the strengths of the diverse neighborhoods of Plainfield.
- Are you a grass-roots community leader?
- Are you prepared to distribute educational material about mental illness at community events?
- Would you like to attend a Mental Health First Aid class?
- Are you willing to display a STIGMA-FREE ZONE sign on your home or lawn?
Be sure to visit the website at www.werstigma-free.org to learn more on how you can get involved.
Plainfield City Hall is located at 515 Watchung Avenue.