CEDAR GROVE, NJ - In an effort to raise awareness of mental illness, Cedar Grove has pledged to be a stigma-free township.
According to The Codey Fund for Mental Health, which was established in 2012 by Governor Richard and Mary Jo Codey, the goals of the Pledge to be Stigma Free -are to "promote public awareness, create conversations, and work towards overcoming stigmas, stereotyping, discrimination, and removing any barriers to recovery.
The initiative was spearheaded by Grove resident Gabrielle Preziosi, who contacted Cedar Grove Mayor Robbie Vargo and Deputy Mayor Kerry Peterson about the pledge.
“I think this initiative is important in Cedar Grove because there are so many people suffering from mental illness who are afraid to seek help or tell anyone they are struggling because of the stigma surrounding it," said Preziosi. "By making Cedar Grove stigma free, it will tell those people that it is okay to have mental illness, that they are not alone, and that the town of Cedar Grove supports them.”
There will be an education session in the upcoming weeks at the O’Toole Community Center to help raise awareness of mental health issues and get into the details of what it means to be a stigma free community.
"As a nurse, and the Deputy Mayor if this community, it is very near and dear to me to hold ourselves to the highest level of compassion and empathy for members of our community that may struggle with mental health issues," said Peterson. "We must be aware this is an issue and do anything we can to help those individuals."
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.
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