ELIZABETH, NJ - On Tuesday, October 29, Trinitas’ Peace of Mind Campaign, developed in an effort to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness, will present an exciting, informative event in Florham Park, featuring actress, author, and behavioral health advocate Mariel Hemingway.

The Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) are the major sponsors of the event, intended to foster discussions about treatment of mental illness, and benefit the renovation of Trinitas’ Behavioral Health facility. For nearly 20 years, Trinitas Regional Medical Center has served as a leading provider of behavioral health and psychiatry services.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Sisters of Charity and Horizon BCBSNJ as major sponsors in our mission to dispel the stigma of mental illness,” says Nadine Brechner, Chief Development Officer and Vice President of the Trinitas Health Foundation. “Horizon understands the importance of mental health on a granular level and we are mutually supportive. Likewise, Sisters of Charity care for all people suffering --- whether it is lung, heart, or mind disease.”

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Sister Maureen Shaughnessy, General Superior of the Sisters of Charity, says, “We believe mental health is an important, neglected area of care. Trinitas has always been a leader in helping people understand the importance of behavioral healthcare.”

Sister Cecelia McManus, Assistant General Superior, will speak at the event on behalf of the Sisters of Charity. “We embrace all efforts to move people toward a place of wholeness,” she says. “Mental health care must be delivered with dignity --- we must help people achieve wholeness while doing the ongoing work of removing stigma around the issue. People must be assured that it’s already to seek the help they need.”

Hemingway will talk about her family’s personal struggles, chronicled in her 2015 memoir: Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the legacy of mental illness, addiction, and suicide in my family. An Academy and Golden Globe-nominated actress and granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, she has become an advocate for mental health treatment and speaks openly about her own struggles. The Peace of Mind event will give guests a chance to meet and hear from her, while contributing to an upgraded behavioral health facility that serves more than 9,000 patients per year.

Horizon BCBSNJ has worked with provider partners to help eliminate the stigma that can be associated with mental health, including a collaboration with Trinitas to expand its Behavioral Health facility. Suzanne Kunis, Horizon BCBSNJ Vice President of Behavioral Health, commended the Trinitas Health Foundation’s efforts to dispel the stigma of mental illness while stressing the need for continued work nationwide in combatting the epidemic.

“We welcome campaigns that shine the spotlight on the reality of living with mental illness and are proud to sponsor activities such as the ‘Peace of Mind’ event this month,” Kunis said. “At Horizon, we believe strongly in the mission to treat the whole person by integrating physical health with behavioral health, and we encourage people who believe they may need mental health support to step out and seek it.”

Event sponsor The Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth has provided care to residents of several communities for more than 100 years. St. Elizabeth Hospital was established by the Sisters of Charity in 1905, and in 2000, the facility was consolidated with Elizabeth General Medical Center to form Trinitas Regional Medical Center. To this day, The Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth take part in the high-level governance of the hospital.

The “Peace of Mind” Campaign has raised more than $4 million toward the renovation of Trinitas’ behavioral health facilities. A full transformation is planned to include upgrades on the inpatient floors, along with updated nurses’ stations, classrooms, common areas and more. The end result will be a welcoming, home-like environment where patients can immediately feel at ease and begin their recovery process from day one.

The October 29 event will take place at Florham Park’s Park Savoy Estate, beginning with a VIP Reception at 5:30 p.m. For tickets or pledge information visit www.trinitasrmc.org/pom.

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