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FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, in collaboration with the Division of Behavioral Health, is announcing the launch of the Stigma-Free Monmouth website. The Monmouth County Stigma-Free Action Committee’s initiative has been developed to help spread the message for those who suffer from behavioral health illnesses and substance use disorders.

“In 2019, New Jersey suffered from 3,021 overdose deaths with 187 occurring in Monmouth County. Since January 1 to July 31 of this year, New Jersey has had 1,834 overdose deaths and 111 in Monmouth County,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley, liaison to the Division of Behavioral Health. “This movement has been gaining momentum and the launch of the stigma-free website helps advocate awareness and education about this notable health concern.”

The Monmouth County Stigma-Free Action Committee believes that every individual deserves to be treated with respect and that everyone should be able to get help without fear. The stigma-free initiative aspires to reduce the stigmas associated with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Monmouth County and other stigma-free zones are raising awareness of the diseases and disorders to help create support for individuals to who need to pursue treatment.

“We are proud to announce that Monmouth County has taken action and have joined the stigma-free movement against mental illness and substance use disorders,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “The Monmouth County Division of Behavioral Health has launched the website Monmouth County Proud to Be Stigma-Free, which will assist residents in need of help and resources.”

“According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five Americans will be affected by mental health conditions,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley. “A negative stigma towards those with this illness or substance use is toxic to the individual’s mental health. Stigmas are 100% curable. Monmouth County residents need to be kind and have empathy towards those with behavioral health illnesses and encourage them to seek treatment.”

For more information about the Stigma-Free Monmouth site or the Monmouth County Division of Behavioral Health, go to www.visitmonmouth.com. Click here to watch Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley announce the Stigma-Free Monmouth website. 

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