The MHASWNJ works to create a community where individuals with mental illness can live and participate to their fullest potential. We pursue our mission through advocacy, education and training, and supportive services.
The American Medical Association describes mental illness
as the nation's number one health problem. It sends more people
to the hospitals than cancer, lung and heart disease combined.
More than 54 million Americans (1 in 5) have a mental disorder
in a given year, but only 8 million (16%) seek treatment.
Up to half of all visits to primary care physicians are due
to conditions caused or exacerbated by psychiatric or emotional
One in five children has a diagnosable mental, emotional
or behavior disorder.
Thirty thousand Americans commit suicide each year and 500,000
Americans attempt suicide annually.
Each year, depression costs the U.S. economy $43.7 billion,
including the $31.3 billion for indirect costs such as decreased
productivity & lost work days.
Fifty percent of the morality from the 10 leading causes
of death in the U.S. can be attributed to behavioral factors,
With proper & adequate treatment, most people who suffer
with a psychiatric disability can recover
FAMILY COMPANION PROGRAM
You cannot believe that you are at a crisis screening center with
your child or family member. You may feel overwhelmed, your child/relative
may be scared and you're not sure what to do.
This situation can be very frightening and confusing. You're not
sure what questions to ask, who is taking care of what, and how long
you will be in here.
What is a Parent/Family Advocate?
The Mental Health Association in Southwestern New Jersey offers a
free support service to help you and your family through the crisis
screening center process with the comfort and care of a parent advocate.
Parent advocates are trained volunteers who will come to the screening
center and spend two hours assisting you with your questions, concerns,
and with the 'what happens next questions.' Parent advocates will
act as a liaison between you and the screening center staff. A parent
advocate can help you attend to the other things you may need such
as the location of the cafeteria, lavatories, telephones, and the
- TAKE you through the crisis screening process.
- HELP you obtain information about your family member's condition&
- HELP you locate the Cafeteria, bathroom telephones, help
- ACT as a liaison between you & the crisis screening
- GIVE you information on steps to take after you leave
the screening center.
- STAY with your child or relative while you are not present
- STAY with you the whole time you are at the screening center
- INTERFERE with screening center procedures
- MAKE a diagnosis about your family member