SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- On Wednesday, Sept.16, through the Community Mental Health Initiative, the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA will host “Make Stress Your Friend,” a workshop aimed at helping people to better manage stress.

Our society tends to prioritize physical health over mental health. We take prompt action in the face of one, and ignore or delay in the face of the other. Many of us consider these two aspects of health separate and distinct. Yet experts today recognize that health has many dimensions, all of them critical to achieving true wellness. They know that our mental health and emotional well-being are inextricably tied to the health of our bodies, and vice versa.

The Community Mental Health Initiative, launched in 2014 through a partnership between the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Y and local schools, churches, non-profit and civic organizations and concerned individuals. The effort aims to change attitudes about mental illness and make sure that people in our area understand that they can and should ask for help. 

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The Initiative provides education about mental health topics that are important to our community. In July 2015, the Y hosted its first Mental Health First Aid Training, which teaches people the basics about mental illness and coaches them in the best ways to offer help to those who need it.

Thanks to the support of the Scotch Plains Municipal Alliance Committee and Dryers Farms, the workshop is free. Dinner will be provided at this event. Participants must register in advance by contacting the Y at 908-889-8880, as space is limited.

Stay tuned for future workshops on mental health and the Community Mental Health Initiative in the coming months. If you’d like to learn more or get involved, contact Tracy Crane at