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Marissa Ferrito

21st Annual Consumer and Family Forum: The Many Faces of Recovery

Last night was the 21st annual Consumer and Family Forum. This year’s forum was titled “The Many Faces of Recovery: Creative Expressions.” The evening was held at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, NJ from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM. The night started with some networking and a light lunch. Over a dozen behavioral health resources were stationed throughout the event room answering questions, taking referrals, and handing out information to attendees. Since the theme of the evening was “Creative Expressions,” there were displays of art made by consumers on display throughout the event.

Jennifer Carpinteri, the Director of the Morris County Department of Human Services kicked off the event by welcoming everyone in and introducing the agenda. We also heard from Kathy DeFillippo, Freeholder Director, and Barbara Ward, Chair of the Mental Health Substance Abuse Advisory Board. Special recognition awards were distributed to two members of the MHSAAB as a thank you for their dedicated years of service.

Peter Basto took over and gave a speech regarding the role of creativity in recovery as well as how recovery takes a different form for every person. Two women stood up and shared their personal stories of recovery in a brave moment of peer connection with the audience. Hearing the struggles these women not only endured, but overcame was moving and empowering. What came next was a nice transition from the serious to a more fun mood; Kathy Moser lead the group in song, even inviting attendees on stage to help her sing a song about accepting yourself and showing the world who you really are.

The evening ended with the open forum discussion, where people were invited to share what resources in the county have been helpful, what obstacles there have been to services, and what’s missing in the community. Many people spoke up thanking agencies personally for what they have done for their recovery. Other people discussed some of the struggles at qualifying or transporting themselves to services. It was an engaging discussion where everything was put out on the table for representatives from individual agencies and the county to hear. Laurie Becker, the Mental Health Administrator for Morris County closed the evening out by thanking everyone for coming and for announcing that the summary of needs will be going out as soon as it’s completed.

MHAMC Wins Atlantic Health’s Community Partner Award

 

Photo 2015 Empower Award

Atlantic Health System just held their second annual Empower Awards and the Mental Health Association of Morris County was awarded the Community Partner Award. The MHAMC was chosen from among a long list of terrific Atlantic Health partners.  MHAMC Board Chair Jeff Green accepted the award as Lou was representing the MHAMC at the national level at the Mental Health America 2015 Annual Conference in Virginia.

The plaque reads: ‘In appreciation of your service and dedication to empowering our communities to be the healthiest in the nation.” At the MHAMC, it is our goal to serve the needs of Morris County’s mental health consumers in every way we can. This kind of recognition is a testament to all of the hours our employees put into their work and into assisting our consumers.

Thank you Atlantic Health System!

John F. Nash Jr., the Life Behind a “Beautiful Mind” Passes

John F. Nash Jr., the man who was the inspiration for both the book and movie “A Beautiful Mind” passed away this past week at age 86 in a tragic car accident. Nash was a well known mathematician and struggled with mental illness through much of his adult life. It’s nice to see a man memorialized by his life’s work and not his illness. More people should be putting the person first when they discuss people’s lives, not just their illness. Read more about the life of John F. Nash Jr. here.

Annual Learning Forum and Wellness Fair: “Putting the Pieces Together: Living a Contemporary Life with Spirituality”

Community Hope, Inc. and the Mental HEalth Association of Morris County are pleased to be a part of the

Annual Learning Forum and Wellness Fair
“Putting the Pieces Together: Living a Contemporary Life with Spirituality”

*TOMORROW*
Thursday, May 28th 2015
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Ukrainian American Cultural Center of NJ
60 N Jefferson Rd., Whippany, NJ

There will be over 40 vendors, 4 workshops, and 1 wonderful keynote speaker! Please come by and check it out!

CNN Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Helping a Teen With Depression

CNN posts the dos and don’ts for helping a teenager with Depression. Many people don’t know what to say to someone suffering from Depression or are mistaken in thinking that someone can just “snap out of it.” This informative article can help people to assist friends and/or loved ones suffering from this disease.

Click here to read the article.

Send Silence Packing a Huge Success

Last week on Friday, May 1st the Mental Health Association of Morris County in cooperation with Active Minds hosted Send Silence Packing at the Morristown Green. This all day event included a display of 1,100 backpacks, representing the 1,100 college students who die each year by suicide. The sheer magnitude of the display was moving for so many people, abut about 200 of the backpacks each have personal stories attached about a real person who died by suicide. Many people commented on how one story or another reminded them of friends, family, or even themselves.

Also at the event we had various social service agencies set up to distribute information about mental health, services, loss, and to provide counseling to people who were impacted by the event. Near the end of the day, students from the Original Music School performed original songs and was a beautiful way to end the event. Following the display, the Church of the Redeemer hosted a prayer service for people to pay respects to all of those they have lost.

The Mental Health Association of Morris County is proud to have been a part of such an important topic and to bring this kind of awareness to the Morris County community. It’s so important to talk about suicide if we are going to stop it from taking away our community members. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible.

11 Days Away to Send Silence Packing!

With only 11 days remaining until Active Minds bring Send Silence Packing to the Morristown Green with the Mental Health Association of Morris County, not a lot of time is left! The event will run from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and will include a display of 1,100 backpacks representing the 1,100 college students who lose their lives to suicide each year. There will be various speakers and activities throughout the day, so stop on by!

Among 18-24 year olds, the prevalence of serious psychological disorders is higher (18.6 percent) than all adults aged 18 or older; however, compared to older adults, the 18-24 year old age group shows the lowest rate of help-seeking behaviors.*

If you or someone you would like to get involved to volunteer with the event, please let Marissa Ferrito know and contact her by email at mferrito@mhamorris.org or call her at (973) 334-3496, ext. 108.

WE STILL NEED VOLUNTEERS TO FILL THE FOLLOWING TIME SLOTS, PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE!
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM – Set up
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM – Outreach
6:00 PM to Done – Pack up

*SAMHSA, Dec 2006

4 Weeks Away to Send Silence Packing!

With only 4 weeks remaining until Active Minds bring Send Silence Packing to the Morristown Green with the Mental Health Association of Morris County, not a lot of time is left! The event will run from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and will include a display of 1,100 backpacks representing the 1,100 college students who lose their lives to suicide each year. There will be various speakers and activities throughout the day, so stop on by!

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students.*

If you or someone you would like to get involved to volunteer with the event, please let Marissa Ferrito know and contact her by email at mferrito@mhamorris.org or call her at (973) 334-3496, ext. 108.

*Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 2004

5 Weeks Away to Send Silence Packing!

With only 5 weeks remaining until Active Minds bring Send Silence Packing to the Morristown Green with the Mental Health Association of Morris County, not a lot of time is left! The event will run from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and will include a display of 1,100 backpacks representing the 1,100 college students who lose their lives to suicide each year. There will be various speakers and activities throughout the day, so stop on by!

More than half of college students have had suicidal thoughts, and 1 in 10 have seriously considered attempting suicide.*

If you or someone you would like to get involved to volunteer with the event, please let Marissa Ferrito know and contact her by email at mferrito@mhamorris.org or call her at (973) 334-3496, ext. 108.

*Hass AP, Silverman MM, Koestner B. Saving Lives in New York: Suicide Prevention and Public Health, Volume 2, Approaches and Special Populations. New York State Office of Mental Health, 2005 Nov.

Mental Health First Aid for Senior Care Providers at the West Essex YMCA

Date: Monday & Tuesday, April 13th & 14th 2015
Time: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM (two-day training)
Where: West Essex YMCA, 321 South Livingston Ave. Livingston, NJ 07039
Fee: $50 per attendee (includes course, materials, lunch)
Facilitators: Lucille Deutsch, CALA, CMC & Marissa Ferrito, BA

Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Substance Abuse
  • Risk of Suicide or Self Harm

and connect your clients or family members to the help they need!

Any one of the seniors you know could be experiencing a mental illness or crisis.
You can help them.

If you are involved in providing care to any senior, you are more likely to encounter someone in an emotional or mental crisis than you are to encounter someone having a heart attack. Mental Health First Aid teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to people with the signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in a crisis and connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social, or self-help care.

Sometimes, the best first aid is you.
Take this course, save a life, strengthen our community!

This 8-hour course is offered in partnership between the Mental Health Association of Morris County and LHD Eldercare Solutions, and is generously funded by a grant from the Grotta Fund for Senior Care of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest. Attendees will be certified in Mental Health First Aid for a period of three years from date of attendance.

Marissa Ferrito and Lucy Deutsch have been teaching this course together for less than a year but have had major success in the senior care community. Teaching five courses for caregivers, case managers, nurses, and more, the feedback they have received has been overwhelming positive. Some examples from the most recent training Marissa and Lucy taught on March 16th and 17th at the Mental Health Association of Morris County:

“This course explained to me a lot of mental health issues I had never been exposed to and also I had a chance to relate to some that I didn’t know I had experienced in the past.”

“The course covered more than I expected and the manual is very informative – a book that I will reuse over and over.”

“As a nurse I learned a lot of this previously but it was a good refresher. Also made me think of things differently.”

Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

If you are interested in registering, please contact Marissa Ferrito at mferrito@mhamorris.org or (973) 334-3496, ext. 108

Registration Form (click to open)