• May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this week we are focusing on

    Bergen County Stigma-Free Sticker Contest & Youth Mental Health

    The Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services held its Inaugural Stigma-Free Sticker Contest. There were over 200 entries from over 40 towns. These stickers were created by students throughout Bergen County from middle school and high school levels. The stickers had hand drawn and digital designs that represented what it means to be Stigma-Free or what being proud to be Stigma-Free looks like. The winners were announced at a Bergen County Stigma-Free Mental Health Awareness Ceremony on May 17th. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to every student that participated!

    This week during May is Mental Health Month we are focusing on youth mental health. COVID-19 has had a major impact on our young people. Previous statistics showed 1 in 5 youth struggle with a mental health challenge, and since COVID, the estimated statistic is now 1 in 3. If you know a young person who is struggling with their mental health, below are some important resources to know about.

    The Children’s System of Care (CSOC) serves families with youth up to 21 years of age who have emotional or behavioral health needs, including substance use and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    Through Perform Care, CSOC’s contracted management system, parents or guardians can be connected to appropriate services for their child. PerformCare is a path for families to request appropriate therapeutic, needs based services with a single phone call any time of the day or night. (877) 652-7624 or www.performcare.nj.org

    Mobile Response and Stabilization Services (MRSS) can provide timely in home or community response to youth who are experiencing a crisis as defined by a family. MRSS will arrive within one to 24 hours, based on the family’s need and request for assistance. MRSS is available 24 hours a day, seven days, a week, 365 days a year by calling: (877) 652-7624 or www.performcare.nj.org

    Case Management Organizations (CMOs) are county-based agencies that provide strength based, wraparound care planning and access to treatment and support services for youth and their families with complex needs. This work includes individualized service planning for youth and their families, creating linkages to identified services, crisis stabilization and support services and advocacy. CMO, maintains ResourceNet, a free online directory of program and support services in each county.

    Family Support Organization (FSOs) are non-profit, county-based organizations run by families of youth and youth adults with emotional and behavioral challenges, substance use, and or/intellectual and development disabilities, FSO services include Advocacy, youth and caregiver support groups, educational support groups, and individual peer support for families of youth enrolled with Care Management Organizations (CMO).

    Please note all services are authorized through Perform Care based on the youth’s clinical needs.

    There is also a virtual Bergen County Teen Summit coming up on Wednesday, June 8th from 4:30-7:00pm. This is an opportunity for high school leaders to come together to make positive changes in their community.


    In Recognition of Mental Health Month 2022

    WHEREAS, mental health is essential to overall health and well-being, and all people experience times of difficulty and stress in their lives and should feel comfortable in seeking help and support to manage these times; and

    WHEREAS, like physical illness, mental illness is a medical condition that can be treated effectively through prevention, early identification, and early intervention, and with effective treatment, all individuals with mental illness can make progress toward recovery and lead full, productive lives; and

    WHEREAS, May is annually recognized throughout the nation as Mental Health Month, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has declared “Together for Mental Health” as the 2022 Mental Health Month theme, recognizing the importance of working together to advocate for mental health and access to care; and

    WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a multitude of mental health challenges for our community members of all ages, and connecting people to care is more important than ever; and

    WHEREAS, compassion, empathy, and understanding are the antidote to stigma associated with mental illness and mental health treatment and, since 2015, the County of Bergen has worked to reduce and eliminate harmful stereotypes regarding mental illness through the Stigma-Free campaign, which has been expanded to each of the county’s 70 municipalities; and

    WHEREAS, the County of Bergen maintains and fosters an extensive array of community partnerships to sustain a comprehensive community mental health system that is responsive to community and residents’ needs and directly offers compassionate and expert guidance to residents who require assistance in navigating the complex mental health system; and

    WHEREAS, the County of Bergen will continue to lead the way in promoting understanding and supportive communities and working to support those living with mental illness throughout Bergen County.


    I, James J. Tedesco III,

    Executive of the County of Bergen

    in the State of New Jersey,

    Do Hereby Declare May 2022 as

    Mental Health Month

    James J. Tedesco III

    Bergen County Executive

    I also call upon all citizens, parents, governmental agencies, public and private institutions, businesses, hospitals, schools and colleges in Bergen County, NJ to support efforts that will decrease stigma and increase community awareness and support for individuals and families experiencing symptoms of a mental illness in our community. 

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