SPARTA, NJ – Sparta Township has taken steps to be established as a Stigma-Free Community.  On April 12, at the township council meeting the members unanimously supported a resolution supporting the mental health and substance abuse initiative.

The council members signed a copy of the resolution to present to members of the Saint Clare’s Advisory Group Nicole Reina BSN RN CEN and Rosaelena Klinger RN LSW.

The resolution explained one in four Americans have experienced some form of mental illness, in many cases leading to substance abuse.  Additionally, mental health diagnosis are more common than cancer and heart disease combined. 

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The reason behind the resolution is to encourage people to seek the help they need to recover, listing stigma as the primary reason people do not take that step.

“No one needs to suffer alone in silence living without hope,” the resolution says. 

Councilwoman Christine Quinn said that together with the Acting Sparta Police Chief Neil Spideletto the Office of Emergency Management wanted to promote the concepts embodied in the resolution. 

“The resolution breaks down barriers and encourages residents to seek help without fear of judgment,” Quinn said.