CarePlus InsideLIne
May 2015 - May is Mental Health Month!
CarePlus Wellness

For a Happy, Healthy Workplace.


CarePlus Wellness Program



Employee Primary Care

You've asked for it, and now you have it! 

As part of recognizing the importance of having a culture of wellness in the workplace, Primary Care Services will be  available on-site for staff covered under the CarePlus  health plan starting Monday, May 4th.

A quick and convenient way to access primary care  services*, including but not limited to:

  • Medical Evaluation
  • Needed medications prescribed and renewed
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring
  • Administration of needed vaccines and TB testing
  • Bloodwork
  • Annual physicals

*All information shared with medical staff is confidential

The first 19 staff members to utilize these services will receive a grocery gift card!

Call to make your appointment today... CarePlus Primay Care at 201-986-5024
Hours of Operation: Tues-Thurs 8am-4pm

Fitness Camp is Back!

Cycle 11 of our Fitness Camp with
Lorraine Gehrig starts May 5th!
The program runs Tuesdays and Thursdays each week for 4 weeks. You can choose to sign up for one night or both!


Register for Cycle 11 Here!


As the weather gets warmer, we will be playing outside - for added benefits of FRESH AIR and FUN!


Lorraine also provides us with some guidelines that will help you achieve your fitness goals. Here are some of them...


In order to achieve fitness goals, we MUST incorporate all of the elements of a healthy lifestyle:

  • Exercise - 3-5 times a week (challenging workouts - resistance & cardio)
  • Manage stress in healthy ways (and, get a good night's SLEEP!)
  • AND - the topic of this message - CLEAN EATING.

Poor nutrition habits can sabotage the potential benefits of your workouts!


Below is a link for a helpful article about clean eating. It provides information about what foods to buy and what to avoid.


Remember - none of us are perfect 100% of the time.  It's OK!  Every change you make toward a healthier lifestyle counts. and as soon as you start feeling the benefits, you're more likely to KEEP GOING!  



A Special Thanks

From Those We Serve 



A Special Thanks to John Paul Simon


Positive Feedback From Clients:

"From the [our son] met JP, he was very comfortable. He opened up to him and explained all of the emotional and physical issues he was having. Over the course of the next seven months, JP taught [our son] a variety of coping skills [...] the result was amazing. My family cannot thank JP and Care Plus enough. You really saved us from a very stressful and upsetting situation."


"We want to express our appreciation & gratitude. Our daughter doesn't open up to many people about her feelings and thoughts but JP knew how to gain her trust with patience and respect. We saw a positive change in her and we ourselves found out many things that we could do to help her and ourselves as a family. He was there for us and gave us the insight and skills needed to make our relationships work individually and as a family . Thank God for Careplus, JP & all the wonderful staff we always felt welcomed. JP is a tremendous asset to Careplus & a credit to his profession." 

A Note From John Paul:

"My background is Marriage and Family Therapy, specifically structural therapy. Also, I place a lot of emphasis on client autonomy and family initiative when making changes, the greatest intervention is that of empowering families." 

"The feedback from families is great, but truly they are the ones who are the catalyst to change."


"Also, being able to thak Ann Marie Zihal for her guidance through out my internship and the first year of my CarePlus career. And also to the agency in general. They truly embody compassion and what mental health support stands for. Thank you!"

Staying Mindful at Work
Tips from a Yogi
Yoga at Your Desk

I am encouraging you to integrate a little bit of yoga into your life - especially while you are at work. The benefits are numerous, and as soon as you start you won't want to stop!


"Office Pose of the Month"

Seated Spinal Twist

This pose is ommazing for stiffness down the spine, and especially for lower back pain.

  1. Turn so you are sitting sideways in your chair.

  2. Bring both feet flat on the floor.

  3. Twist towards the back of the chair, holding the back with both hands.

  4. Turn the chair the other way and repeat.

While in the pose, work to open your chest by extending your spine, and keep your shoulders away from your ears. You should feel a glorious release, and might hear a few health "cracks" down the spine.


See more poses here: Desk Stretches 


Meditative Minute

Here is a simple tip to get you started
on a dedicated mindfulness practice:
take a minute to send out gratitude
in all of your actions.
  1. When you sit down at your desk to begin your day, list five things you are grateful for. (For example: having a job, having the skills to be of service, having access to the internet, having the means to travel to and from work, having a safe place to call home, and so on and so forth.)
  2. This may be a repeat, but only because it is important - be grateful for your food! No matter what you are eating or drinking, send out thanks. Be thankful to have the food, be grateful for all of the people involved in getting that food in front of you, be grateful for the water that gives you life! With every sip and every bite, be grateful.
Bergen County: Stigma-Free Zone
Paramus Stigma-Free   
Paramus Stigma-Free Zone
Website    Facebook Page   Twitter



Fair Lawn Stigma-Free Zone
Facebook Page

Park Ridge Stigma-Free Zone
Facebook Page
Bergen County Stigma-Free Towns:



Fair Lawn

Franklin Lakes


Little Ferry


Midland Park



Park Ridge


River Vale




Woodcliff Lake


Strides in Breaking Stigma



The Bergen Community College chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society held a Mental Health Awareness Summit on April 25th entitles "Wellness Moves Minds". The event included interactive acts from the Mental Health Players, words from keynote speaker Sean Campbell, and remarks for Mary Ann Uzzi on how to create a Stigma-Free community. Among the attendees were students from all over New Jersey, representing their respective Phi Theta Kappa chapters at their community colleges.


How exciting it is to see how easy it can be to spread awareness and end stigma!

Let's work to make all of New Jersey Proud to Be Stigma-Free!


Development Committee
Annual Courage Awards Gala Planning  


Gala season is moving full speed ahead! 50/50 tickets are available (contact Alexis), Cranes for Courage is live, and the committee is working hard to solicit sponsors, journal ads, and auction items for the event.  


We are in our final month of planning!

Join us this month...

  • 4pm on May 5th for a Cinco de Mayo Auction Basket Wrapping Fiesta!
  • On May 12th for more wrapping!
  • 9 am on May 21st for our final Development Committee meeting before to Gala

Contact Alexis for location and details.


Right around the corner...

Golf Committee Meetings

Tuesday, June 16, 2015  9AM

Tuesday, July 7, 2015  6PM

Tuesday, July 28, 2015  9AM

Tuesday, August 18, 2015  6PM

Tuesday, September  1, 2015  9AM


We are grateful for every committee member that has committed their times and efforts with us. However, infrequent flyer are more than welcome! If you can only make a few meetings that is okay - every little bit of time counts! Your support is helpful and valued. 


Spotlight: Juvenile Fire Prevention



The Bergen County Juvenile Fire Prevention Program (BCJFPP) is an early intervention for youth up to the age of 18 displaying recurring interest and/or engagement in fire-setting behavior.

On Thursday April 9th, the Kids' Safety Awareness Program (KSAP team ) invited the BCJFPP to present for some of the KSAP Team. The children and leaders in the program are dedicated to safety and service.


After an educational class on some topic of safety, the children are tested on what they learned and rewarded with certificates for their active participation. Following that, the group usually goes on a relevant outing in the community to reinforce their new knowledge.


 The KSAP participants had a wonderful response to the BCFPP. The Volunteer Firefighter, Joe, engaged the students in conversation on how fires start and how to stay safe under those dangerous circumstances. The children were full of questions, and said that they learned a lot from the presentation.


Also in attendance was CarePlus Program Manager Teresa Martino-Woods who runs BCJFPP and works with children up to the age of eighteen who display signs of a proclivity for fire or fire setting.

Martino-Woods to explained steps parents can take to help children stay away from fire. Martino-Woods said anyone can enter the program by meeting with her and having a discussion, to which she makes a recommendation; typically, the recommendation includes a meeting with one of the program's fire safety educators to receive information.


Martino-Woods stressed the importance of speaking up if a child witnesses a peer involved in a potentially dangerous situation regarding fire, and said "Tell a teacher or parent. We want to make sure you're safe and the people who you are with are safe."

[Excerpt from Bogota Bulletin]

The goal of the program is to reduce the overall problem of fire-setting by working with juvenile fire-setters to identify underlying issues and provide intervention to minimize fire-setting behaviors.



Parents and children who are interested in the program can learn more here: BCJFPP!


Support the 2015 Gala
Earn a Paid Day Off

Annual Awards Gala Recognizes Courage, Hope and Quest for "Happiness"

In case you haven't heard, there is an incentive for staff members to get involved in this year's Gala - and it's an easy way to contribute to our efforts! Join the crowd funding campaign then share the link with friends, families, and social network. The staff member that raises the most funds on their individual CrowdRise will win a paid day off!



  • We have raised $2,312
  • Kerri Diamond and John Paul Simon are tied for the lead with $361 each!
  • We have 23 team members
  • We have one month left!

"The theme of this year's Gala is inspired by an adolescent CarePlus client who tells her story inspired by the Japanese Legend that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, you get to make a wish. This young lady did just that," explained Jamisin Saracino, Director of Advocacy and Community Education at CarePlus. "She folded 1,000 paper cranes over a 10-month period, and once she completed the task, she wished for happiness."


"Her wish was granted when she discovered CarePlus," Saracino continued, "She was linked to a therapist and support group within the organization and began her journey towards recovery. Inspired by her story, we are celebrating this theme of hope and happiness at this year's event."


The Gala committee created "Cranes for Courage", an online CrowdRise fundraiser to spread her message of hope. As a reminder of the support given to these efforts, a paper crane will be mailed to each person that makes a minimum $10 donation through the site. The goal is to generate 1,000 donations and to distribute 1,000 paper cranes, with the wish that CarePlus can serve more individuals struggling with their mental health and help them find happiness.


Get Involved!            


Program Marketing
It is important staff to familiarize themselves with the variety of program and services offered through CarePlus so that we can make appropriate referrals for those in need. For that reason, we are working on streamlining information so that it is easily accessible.

This involves appropriately updated Program Fact Sheets, comprehensive marketing folders, social media spotlights, and up to date information on the CarePlus website.

A new folder has been added to the M Drive so that staff can quickly access Program Information Sheets. These Fact Sheets can be found in the first folder in 999 General titled _FactSheets.  

If you need any materials created, revised, or printed for your program or presentations you will need to utilize the electronic request form. This new system is being used to ensure timely and effective completion of projects.   


You may have noticed recent Facebook posts highlighting our adolescent group services. This is the first part of our efforts to market each of our programs to the community.

If you would like to put your team, group or program in the spotlight, contact the ACE team to make arrangements. You can also send positive reviews and feedback for coworkers and clients that go above and beyond.  

News from 
Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Did you know that you have access to resources pertaining to everyday life right at your fingertips?  Get educated on what is available to you through the care CarePlus EAP. With this Employee Assistance Program, you will have access to information and resources for family, health, money and much more. 

This EAP also features free Webinars, a monthly newsletter and tips for daily living.  These are just a few of the resources you will find... there is much more!  Right now, you or someone you know may need assistance. When you are searching for information and/or resources they could just be a click away!

Be sure to explore the website: 

Login: CPNJ Password: 123

Webinar of the Month

Estate Planning - 5/19/15
12 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time


Learn the key documents everyone over 18 should have prepared so your family understands your wishes regarding your health, money, and property.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Bell in the Human Resources Department at or call 201-843-5218, extension 227. 



"Our beautiful new space at University Middle School! Norellen and Siobhan and their team really took the school's breath away. Staff and students are buzzing about it!!!" - Sarah Gregor


CarePlus Celebrates 10 years of School-Based Therapeutic Programming 


Bergen county school districts have an opportunity to contract with Care Plus NJ, Inc. ("CarePlus") in the 2015-2016 school year to receive custom-tailored therapeutic services to create an optimal environment for student health and success.

CarePlus school-based programming works closely with school administration to provide necessary services and meet the requirements of each unique student body. There are a variety of programs available to satisfy the needs of each district including individual counseling, educational support groups, school clearances, case management, wrap-around resources and more.

"Engaging youth in positive activities to enhance their growth and provide counseling and intervention can be extremely challenging," explained Tara Augustine, Senior Vice President of Children and Family Services at CarePlus. "It's our goal to create access to an environment within the school that's safe and free of stigma, while offering structured recreation, psycho-education, skill-building, and therapy from experienced professionals."

Each program is staffed by professionals experienced in youth development, therapy, and case management and backed by the CarePlus mission to help people foster and develop healthy minds and healthy bodies. Children and parents also get access to a complete spectrum of care through CarePlus, a fully-licensed and accredited mental health care organization, providing services to the community since 1978.

The first CarePlus School Based Youth Services Program started at Manchester Regional High School (MRHS) and opened in 2005. Through this program, CarePlus has been able to provide year-round prevention programming, counseling and recreation. Services are open to the entire student body, making mental health care easily accessible. The CarePlus team has developed a strong collaboration with MRHS administration and faculty to ensure the students receive the services that they need.

In addition to Manchester, CarePlus has School Based programming in River Edge, New Milford, Ramsey, and Irvington. The newest of these programs are developing at Ramsey High School and University Middle School in Irvington. Each of these programs looks different, as each school has unique needs.

The creative and fun atmosphere at the 'Falcon's Lounge' at MRHS inspired the staff at University Middle School, which recently began their school-based therapeutic program with CarePlus. This particular room is funded by a grant from the school to initiate counseling services in the school to support children's success in the school setting. Other schools have the option to utilize grants, fundraising, and donations of time, supplies, or creative energy to decorate these safe spaces for students.

Bringing these services into the schools will make mental health care available for children and their families. Students receive the benefits of a more positive school environment, and families also have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of services that CarePlus offers for adults, children, and families. Some of these services include a 24-hour emergency help line, in-home services, outpatient programs, support groups, community outreach and education.

"It is the schools where the kids spend most of their day," Augustine continues, "so we want to bring services to them so that mental health care is accessible to all kids in the county."


For more information on our School-Based Programs visit: School-Based Programs. 

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Mentally AWARE Campaign

Posters and flyers are available to print from our website. Be sure to download it and share it with staff and clients! 
Do YOU have a story to share? If you have a story, update, announcement, photos to share here, on Facebook, or on the website send it to the ACE team and we will work to get it out to staff and friends of CarePlus.
Obligatory disclaimer ("the gray area"): This newsletter is compiled by humans, and you know how humans are: we make occasional mistakes - not too many, but they do happen. Please do not consider a rush in judgment. We - "the humans" - apologize in advance for any omissions, inaccuracies, misspellings, and flagrant discombobulations. Should you desire to suggest a correction or addition, please email You can even just email if you'd like to say you do (or do not) like the Inside Line, however no cursing or inflammatory remarks, please, as we are humans.