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A Quarterly Newsletter from NJ MentalHealthCares

Summer 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.  

Psychological Distress

Spotlight on Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Week: 

September 9 - 15, 2012

World Suicide Prevention Day: September 10, 2012 


                                      Did you know?

  • In the United States, one person completes suicide every 14 minutes.
  • It is estimated that more than 5 million people in the United States have been directly affected by a suicide.
  • Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die - rather they want to end the suffering they feel.
  • Experts also know that suicidal crises tend to be brief.

Despite the staggering statistics around suicide, the latter information gives us hope and a place to intervene. Lives can be saved with early recognition of suicidal risk and early intervention. Every New Jersey community has services available for the assessment and treatment of suicidal behaviors and its causes.


New Jersey MentalHealthCares Helpline

Answering New Jersey Suicide Calls to the

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

24,000 suicide related calls are made by New Jersey residents every year, according to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) funded program. Until yesterday only a limited number of these calls were answered in New Jersey while most of them were routed to crisis centers in other parts of the country.


Starting on September 4, 2012, the Mental Health Association in New Jersey's New Jersey MentalHealthCares Helpline began to accept calls during its regular hours (weekdays, 8 am to 8 pm) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The average answer time for a call is 15 seconds or less. Click here to read the press release. 



Best Practices for Helping Suicide Callers 

New Jersey MentalHealthCares employs The American Association of Suicidology's model for assessing suicidal callers which has been developed into the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Suicide Risk Assessment Standards. The approach focuses on four areas: desire, capability, intent and buffers. This practice spans beyond phone interventions as it is useful in other types of client contact. Click here to read more. 


How do you do it? 

What proactive steps do you take to help prevent suicide? Do you read current research and clinical practice information, plan agency-wide prevention awareness activities, or bring the issue to larger community awareness? Please share your strategies and experiences on the Mental Health Association in New Jersey's Facebook page. Together we can work to reduce the number of lives tragically touched by suicide.


Suicide Awareness Events

September 9th through September 15th is National Suicide Prevention Week. This year's theme is "Collaborations in Suicidology: Bridging the Disciplines." 


Click here for more information on World Suicide Prevention Day  or World Suicide Prevention week.  

Now Available: New Review of APA Practice Guideline for Assessment and Treatment of Patients with Suicide Behaviors 

A new review of the APA Suicide Guidelines, originally published in the May 2004 issue of Psychaitric Annals, is now available to help professionals assess and treat patients with suicidal behaviors. Readers are encouraged to review the complete Guideline in order to appreciate the full scope of the recommendations. Click here for a link to the review article that has a link to the APA Suicide Guidelines. 

How Much Does Mental Health Stigma

Affect Violence?

The recent shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin have once again led to discussion of the correlation between mental illness and violence.


20 out of every 100 adults in the United States have some form of mental illness. 5 of those 20 will have a diagnosis considered "severe." These individuals rarely pose a danger. The chance of dangerousness does however increase without proper treatment.


According to an op-ed article on, current research supports that the issue is not the presence of mental illness, but lack of treatment. Given this framework, serious consideration needs to be directed toward issues of stigma, educating the public on how to support individuals showing possible signs of mental illness and encouraging them to seek help, and increased accessibility to appropriate treatment.


Click here to read more. 

More on Stigma: Repositioning Mental Illness


Lack of understanding about mental illness often exacerbates stigma, especially when symptoms are mistakenly perceived as being under a person's control. On the contrary, current research continues to indicate that mental illness is a physical disorder comparable to other physical illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. Like other physical illnesses --- mental illness is a problem that requires treatment rather than posing an issue to shun.


One example is indicated in a study reported in the Journal Psychological Medicine, which points to the analysis of brain scans as a useful tool in the treatment of psychotic illnesses. Click here to read the Reuters' article about the study.

  NJMHC Phone

Call Center Statistics

May 1, 2012

July 31, 2012 

Total Calls: 4880 


Most Requested Services:
Behavioral Health 
Services: 60%
Advocacy and Consumer Empowerment: 20%      
Mental Health Resources
Suicide Prevention Resources

Important Message for  Mental Health Consumers:     MHANJ Urges Caution before Registering for D-SNP (Special Needs Plan for Medicare and Medicaid Eligible) Enrollment

Mental health consumers may be contacted by someone from the managed care plan who will explain that there is no copay for psychiatric drugs for those who sign up for the Special Needs Plan (SNP).  While this is true, there may be other changes for coverage with these SNPs. 


Please click here for more information and a flyer which may be printed, posted and distributed to mental health consumers, providers and others who support them.  

Walk for Wellness and Recovery


In partnership with


  MJCADD Walk logosmaller


 Walk for Wellness and Recovery


Click here to register now! 



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rain or Shine



Johnson Park

Piscataway, NJ



$20 Pre-registration (minimum)


$25 Registration

(minimum on the day of the Walk)


Includes T-shirt

and Raffle Tickets


Fundraising Incentive Program


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