Schwarcz, M.A., President and CEO, Mental Health Association of Morris County, and Chris Kirk, Ph.D., Director of Mission Development, Atlantic Health System, sign the Memorandum of Understanding to kickoff the Mental Health First Aid training program. The Mental Health Association of Morris County (MHAMC) will offer a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training program in Morris, Sussex, Passaic, Union, and Somerset counties. The program seeks to demystify mental illness and to generate community awareness and support for adults who may be showing early warning signs of mental illness, in order to prevent a further crisis and to mitigate potential community incidents. The evidence-based public-education curriculum was designed by the National Council for Behavioral Health in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Funding for the program was provided through a $20,000 grant from Atlantic Health System and a $20,000 grant from Saint Clares Health System. The program fulfills a need found from information gathered in the 2012 comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which was conducted jointly by area hospitals, including Atlantic Health System (Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Newton Medical Center, Goryeb Childrens Hospital) and Saint Clares Health System (with locations in Denville, Dover, Sussex and Boonton). The program also seeks to change the perception surrounding mental illness as a whole and in response to a number of national tragedies that have brought the topic into national conversation.
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Fraser Health Authority cuts hours of mental health clinics
The move has sparked criticism from the B.C. Nurses’ Union, who say the reduction of hours will hurt mentally ill people who are clamouring for more services. And earlier this week, Vancouver police, the RCMP and several Metro Vancouver mayors told The Vancouver Sun that B.C. desperately needs more facilities for people struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. But Fraser Health is defending its move to stop staying open once or twice a week until 8 p.m.
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