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A Quarterly Newsletter from NJ MentalHealthCares

March 2014
The NJMentalHealthCares Helpline helps individuals, families and communities identify, understand and effectively navigate programs that comprise the behavioral 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  and research NJMentalHealthCares has exemplified commitment to service, community and integrity.  
April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Help for Today,  Hope for Tomorrow

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) sponsors NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.

This April, NCADD highlights the important public health issue of underage drinking, a problem with devastating individual, family and community consequences. The theme is "Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow." Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous -- both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors. Annually, over 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and thousands more are injured. Here are some additional facts: 
  • Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America's young people, and is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
  • Those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
  • More than 1,700 college students in the U.S. are killed each year -- about 4.65 a day as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
  • 25% of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their families.
  • Underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually.
  • Weekend binge drinking can leave lasting liver damage.

 How Much is Too Much?  

Do you know how much alcohol defines at-risk drinking? For men, at-risk or heavy drinking is defined as consuming more than four drinks on any day and more than 14 per week. For women, it is defined as consuming more than three drinks on any day and more than seven drinks per week. Potential effects of alcohol misuse may include missed deadlines, frequent tardiness, sleeping on the job or tremors. However, not any one of these signs means that someone is an alcoholic.


Resources for Families

It can be painful to see a family member or close friend suffer from the disease of alcoholism. Click here for helpful resources for family members: 

April 2, 2014 is

World Autism Awareness Day 

Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around one in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum -- a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated one out of 54 boys and one in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.


Click here for more information from Autism Speaks, a leading autism science and advocacy organization. Click here for the Autism Research Institute's website, which offers relevant research.

  NJMHC Phone

Call Center Statistics 

November 1, 2013

January 31, 2014

Total Calls:  4332


Most Requested:
Behavioral Health 
Services: 81%
Disaster Mental Health Couseling: 15%   

NJ MentalHealthCares
 Offers Free, Confidential Phone-In Screening for Alcohol Abuse and Other Substance Use Disorders



How much substance use is too much? When does casual drinking border on alcohol
abuse? Substance misuse may be hard to recognize but it may also have a huge effect on both physical and mental health. The problem is widespread.
The NJMentalHealthCares HelpLine is offering free, confidential phone-in screening for substance use disorders, in addition to its usual information and referral services. The screening is accessible through the regular NJ MentalHealthCares Helpline phone number at 1-866-202-HELP(4357) (TTY 1-877-294-4356). 

The assessment, which only takes a few minutes, can help individuals to understand their drinking habits and provide treatment information if necessary. 

Mental Health Resources

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