The Mental Health Association of Morris County is a non-profit, charity organization dedicated to serving people with mental illness and their families. Incorporated in 1953, the Mental Health Association of Morris County (MHAMC) is a local chapter of the New Jersey Division of the National Mental Health Association, today known as Mental Health America.
During the early days of mental health treatment, asylums often restrained people who had mental illnesses with iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped. In the early 1950s, Mental Health Associations nationwide issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles.
On April 13, 1956, at the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland, Mental Health America melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope: the Mental Health Bell.
Now the symbol of the Mental Health Association movement, the 300-pound Bell serves as a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses.
Today, the Mental Health Bell continues to ring out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses.
The Mental Health Association of Morris County envisions a just, humane, and healthy society in which all people with mental illness or having other issues affecting mental health are accorded respect, dignity, and the opportunity to achieve their full potential, free from stigma and discrimination.
The mission of the Mental Health Association of Morris County is to promote mental health and to support and empower people in recovery from mental illness through effective services, education, and advocacy.
How We Impact Our Community
Helping people with mental illness to transition out of psychiatric hospitals and into the community.
Helping people with mental illness transition from homelessness to housing.
Helping people with mental illness in the criminal justice system receive treatment and other services before, during, and after incarceration.
Increasing wellness in the community through the promotion of self-help services.
Increasing community education on mental health issues.
Advocating for improved services, policies and resources that help people with mental illness and their families.
Assisting the community in mental health responses to community disasters.
Mental Health Association of Morris County
Financial Impact of Our Services
We enable people to live independent productive lives free from expensive institutional facilities.
It costs approximately $301,000 to keep a mental health client in a New Jersey State Psychiatric Hospital for one year. This is approximately $825 per day. However, MHAMC can house them in the community with intense support and monitoring for $35,000 per year.
Morris County pays 15% of the bill for all county residents placed in Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. That is an average of $45,000 per year per patient.
We help people recover from mental illness who would otherwise be placed in a costly jail facility.
It costs Morris County $91,250 per year ($250 per day) to place someone in the Morris County jail. MHAMC can divert them from the jail and put supports in place in the community through our Forensic Case Management program for approximately $3,000 per year for each person.
A $26 call to our Peer-to-Peer Support Line, staffed by people with mental illness, will keep people from a $2,000 emergency care visit.
It costs an average of $2,000 for a person in crisis to visit a psychiatric emergency room in Morris County.
A significant number of calls to the psychiatric emergency rooms are for non-crisis support. These calls can be avoided if the person receives support from a peer, who also has mental illness, in the community. MHAMC Peer-to-Peer Line diverts non-crisis calls from the emergency room.
MHAMC can divert calls from the emergency room for approximately $26 per phone call.
Further, the Peer-to-Peer Line also serves as a training ground for people with mental illness to become employed as mental health professionals. Currently, over 40% of MHAMC staff are people in recovery from mental illness. Moving people from disability to employment increases quality of life and allows people with mental illness to contribute to the tax base.
We enable people to live independently, allowing them to move to permanent housing from homelessness.
It costs $41,610 per year ($113 per night) to keep a person with mental illness in the Morris County Homeless Shelter.
It costs $31,025 per year ($85 per night) to place someone in a Morris County motel.
MHAMC can provide Homeless Outreach Services to help a mentally ill person to access permanent housing for $14,652 per year.