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
Understanding Mental Illness: Videotapes, pamphlets
and speakers are available to businesses, schools, civic organizations
and churches. Programs are designed to promote mental wellness,
increase the public's awareness & understanding of mental illness,
and to provide information on available treatment and resources.
Symposiums, Workshops, Technical Training: Presentations
and workshops are available for community groups, educators, mental
health consumers and mental health agency staff. Programs are designed
to address the concerns of each audience
Mental Health Players: By using interactive theater,
volunteers increase the awareness of the everyday problems affecting
mental health and sensitize audiences to the special problems of
individuals who struggle with mental illness.
CIT Center of Excellence: The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is an innovative national model of police based crisis intervention with community mental health care and advocacy partnerships. Police officers, mental health professionals and advocates receive intensive training to respond to citizens experiencing a behavioral crisis. The emphasis is on mental health knowledge, crisis resolution skills, and access to community based services.
Being There: A classroom presentation for high school and college students designed to increase their awareness and understanding of mental illness. A young person who has a mental illness and a mental health provider describe living and coping with a mental illness.
The Camden Work Experience, Rehabilitation & Collaborative Services offers teens and young adults livingwith mental illness,the opportunity to explore vocational interests.Counseling, workshops, field trips and part-time employment offer participants work -readiness skills that will serve themthroughout their careers.
Works Rite: A supported employment program that
provides assistance and support for mental health consumers in
preparing for the world of work, as well as in obtaining and sustaining
L.E.A.R.N. (Learning Enhancement and Resource Network)- is a
specialized educational support program that is free to individuals
who are experiencing a serious mental illness, who are 18 or older,
and who reside in Burlington, Camden, or Gloucester counties. LEARN
staff provides a continuum of supportive services to students who
are enrolled or who are considering enrolling in colleges, universities,
and trade/technical schools.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND SOCIAL SUPPORTS
The Wellness & Self Help Center of Camden is a consumer based resource center located at 415 Federal Street in Camden that offers discussion groups, computer stations, and social and recreational activities.
The Gathering: A weekly support program chronically mentally ill residents of boarding homes in Camden County. Program offers peer support, community outings, exercise and health classes as well as leadership and self-advocacy training.
The POST Program: (Peer Outreach Support Team) A consumer based outreach program that brings support as well as social and recreational activities in the boarding homes to mental health consumers who reside there.
INFORMATION & REFERRAL
Individuals seeking mental health services may call the Association
for referrals to community resources @ 856.522.0639.
Working in conjunction with the Mental Health America
and the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, the MHASWNJ volunteers
study issues and work on federal, state and local levels to ensure
the accessibility and quality of mental health treatment.
Family Companions: Trained advocates provide support and information to family members of individuals at the crisis screening centers at Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Cherry Hill and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Rancocas.