Town Hall Meeting in Paramus Aims to Break Down the Stigma of Mental Illness

16 Apr 2014 Events, In the News No Comments

To help raise awareness about mental illness within the community, the Paramus Stigma-Free Zone is holding a Town Hall Meeting: “Let’s Talk”. This is an opportunity for the community to get involved and become part of the solution to the mental health crisis.

The Paramus Stigma-Free Zone task force operates on the premise that healthy communication about mental illness is one possible way to remove the stigma. The “Let’s Talk” Town Hall Meeting is designed to involve the community in an open conversation on the signs and symptoms of mental illness, educate about area mental health care providers, and for attendees to meet their Paramus neighbors. At the meeting there will be speakers from the mental health field, a Q&A session, and resource tables with information on mental health available before and after the program.

“Mental illness is just that – an illness.  It is treatable, and it affects us all in some way,” said Mary Ann Uzzi, concerned Paramus resident and Stigma Free Zone task force chairperson. “It can no longer be ignored and whispered about, but rather acknowledged and dealt with in a caring and educated way. The stigma associated with mental illness is one of the major barriers in an individual seeking and receiving treatment,” Uzzi continued.

The Paramus Stigma-Free Zone has been involved in several community events since its inception last year, including training Paramus school staff members in Youth Mental Health First Aid, and the public dance presentation at Paramus Park Mall called, “Let’s Help”.

The Paramus Stigma-Free Zone is a group composed of concerned citizens from local government, public safety, local businesses, education, health care providers, and residents of the town of Paramus. They have made their mission to educate the community and remove the stigma associated with mental illness.

“Let’s Talk” is a chance for members of the community to get educated on mental illness and to remove the stigma associated with it. The meeting will take place on May 8th at the Paramus High School Auditorium at 7:00PM.

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