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A Quarterly Newsletter from NJ MentalHealthCares

Spring 2012
NJMentalHealthCares Helpline helps individuals, families and communities identify, understand and effectively navigate programs that comprise the mental health and human services delivery systems.  Built upon the philosophy of an individual's capacity for self-reliance and self-determination through advocacy, affirmation, education, research and service NJMentalHealthCares has exemplified commitment to service, community and integrity. 

NJMHC Helpline is staffed by trained and experienced professional Behavioral Healthcare Specialists who provide: assessment of the presenting problem or issue, linkage to treatment and community resources, ongoing supportive counseling as needed, and diversion from crisis services.

NJMentalHealthCares Launches Pilot Program

FriendshipOn May 1, 2012, the Mental Health Association in New Jersey's (MHANJ) NJMentalHealthCares Helpline (NJMHC) and MHANJ's Atlantic County office launched a pilot program entitled, "From Screening to Services" (FSTS), in collaboration with AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City.


This program partners existing services in providing a coordinated response, linking consumers, while still in the AtlantiCare acute service, and their familiy members, to an array of support and behavioral health management services. The purpose is to provide assitance and tools needed to help the consumer move forward in recovery.


Specifically, AtlantiCare facilitates a phone call to NJMHC before the consumer leaves. The Helpline staff immediately works with the consumer and provides wrap-around telephonic case management and support services for 30 days. During this time period consumers are offered linkage to a variety of services such as: The Peer Recovery WarmLine, MHANJ's Atlantic County services including the Peer Outreach Support Team Program, Self-Help Center, Individual and Family Support Services and Acute Family Care Program as well as community based mental health and social services.


The collaboration addresses some potential service gaps by ensuring the consumer makes a community contact before leaving the hospital or screening center. In addition, these services can respond daily to a consumer until a community plan is in place and face-to-face linkages are made. As the lead behavioral management entity, the NJMHC staff person remains in contact with all the programs involved to ensure the consumer is engaged in a comprehensive and appropriate service plan.


NJMHC can easily replicate the FSTS model with other groups of service providers, with the ultimate goals of ensuring that the consumer will have continued success on the path toward recovery, while at the same time reducing Emergency Room recidivism. For more information email Stephanie Mulfinger, NJMHC Coordinator at   [email protected]

Coping with Trauma

season affective doTrauma and its far-reaching effects remain a critical advocacy issue because of the "devastating impact it has on physical, emotional, and mental well-being," as noted in a press release from  Mental Health America. Fortunately neuroscience research has identified therapeutic techniques that can help to control the damage and improve well-being.


Most people have stereotyped or limited ideas of what constitutes trauma for an individual, however sources of trauma are broad in scope. They include such events and circumstances as: interpersonal violence, social violence, natural disaster and accidents, military combat, chronic social stress and adverse childhood events. Click here to read more from Mental Health America.


Current research consistently indicates the need for professionals to evaluate an individual's trauma history when they are conducting an initial assessment. While the majority of people exposed to trauma will not develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), clinicians still need to be aware of a client's trauma history and the effect it may have on current mental health concerns and treatment and develop skills to accurately assess these issues.


For example, the study referenced in the article below "emphasizes that traumatic stress can have a long-term negative impact" on an individual's physical health. This holds true even if the individual does not develop PTSD. The study further highlights the importance of considering lifetime trauma exposure in addition to formal diagnosis. 


Click here to link to the National Center for PTSD for information about professional trauma assessment and tools.

Trauma May Cause Heart Problems

female soldierA new study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center indicates that traumatic stress may  increase problems for people who have heart  disease. According to an article in HealthDay  Newsonline, "The more (exposure) traumatic stress  patients experienced in a lifetime, the more likely they were to have elevate levels of inflammatory markers in their bloodstream."

Further, the study relates that this issue may be of particular concern to Veterans and those who serve as first responders and offers strong argument for the relationship between physical and mental health. Click here to read more. 

  NJMHC Phone

Call Center Statistics

February 1, 2012

April 30, 2012 

Total Calls: 5783


Most Requested Services:
Community Mental Health: 63%
Advocacy and Consumer: Empowerment: 18%
Mental Health Resources

The MHANJ's Peer Recovery WarmLine (PRW) is a peer-run service providing on-going telephone support to mental health consumers as they work towards their recovery. 


The phone number is 1-877-292-5588 or TTY 1-877-294-4356 for free, confidential support. PRW is live Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and holidays, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Trauma Resources

Evening of Excellence logo

The MHANJ is pleased to announce the honorees for its Evening of Excellence benefit to be held on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at the Crystal Plaza, 305 West Northfield Ave., Livingston.


"Our heartfelt appreciation is extended to our honorees for the Mental Health Association in New Jersey's 2012 Evening of Excellence. Representing the business, non-profit and mental health consumer worlds, they were selected on the basis of their exemplary commitment and accomp-lishments in improving the lives of those with mental illness in our state," stated Carolyn Beauchamp, MHANJ President and CEO.


Click here for more information on the honorees and links to purchase tickets or to place a congratulatory ad in the Evening of Excellence journal.

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