• The Hammonton Gazette

MHANJ encourages New Jerseyans to address mental health concerns

We have been through a very tough year of isolation, fear and loss. It is more important than ever to be proactive and notice signs of developing mental health issues. During the month of May, which is Mental Health Month, the Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) is encouraging everyone to pay attention to their mental wellness. The Association’s awareness campaign entitled, Before Stage 4, highlights the importance of addressing mental health symptoms early, encouraging everyone to “Get Informed, Get Screened and Get Help!”


Prevention and early detection are key to Mental Health just as they are to physical health. Conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are common and treatable. Recovery is possible. Steps include identifying potential underlying causes and planning an appropriate course of action to regain overall health. Mental health conditions, like physical health problems, should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process—Before Stage 4.



“When we suspect a health issue like cancer, heart disease or diabetes, we don’t wait years to treat them. We start before Stage 4—we begin with prevention or early treatment. May is Mental Health Month. We are encouraging everyone to learn the signs, ask for help if needed, address symptoms early and develop a plan for overall mental and physical health,” Carolyn Beauchamp, President and CEO of the MHANJ, said.


To aid in this process the MHANJ offers a full weekly calendar of free, virtual webinars and discussion groups that address a wide variety of mental health issues and concerns.


Two of the programs featured during May specifically address the tools and strategies necessary to address mental health challenges Before Stage 4. They are:


1. B4Stage4 — Key Strategies for Mental Wellness — Discover an important perspective and gain key strategies to put your mental health first. Date and Time: Wednesday May 12, 11a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Zoom ID: 811 2323 9712 Zoom Password: 689871; Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81123239712?pwd=aDJZWkhneWpVM2Z4eENkUjRIVG1Udz09


2. B4Stage4 — Mental Health: Who, What, When and How — Exploring ways to Cope with Emotional Distress Join the New Jersey Mental Health Players for an engaging interactive experience! Prevention and early detection are key to mental health, just as they are to physical health. Learn important tips to maintain your mental health. Date and Time: Wednesday May 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Zoom ID: 817 9509 6104 Zoom Password: 294172; Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81795096104pwd=dnVzcGlsdHl6SEE4WkVtb21XbTlpQT09


Everyone is welcome to join these and a variety of additional free virtual sessions offering tools, support and information highlighting mental health and the importance of addressing symptoms early. Click here to view MHANJ’s Mental Health Month Program Calendar.


Move4MentalHealth Social Media Challenge: The MHANJ’s Community Education Department invites everyone to join their “Move4MentalHealth” social media challenge during Mental Health Month. This initiative highlights the importance of physical activity as a strategy to reinforce mental health. To join in, simply post a short 10-to-60 second video of movement, dance or any form of exercise, using the hashtags #move4mentalhealth, #b4stage4, #mentalhealthmonth and #mhanj.


About the Mental Health Association in New Jersey: The MHANJ is a statewide non-profit organization that strives for children and adults to achieve victory over mental health and substance use disorders through advocacy, education, training and services. Headquartered in Springfield, the MHANJ also has offices in Atlantic, Hudson and Ocean Counties and affiliates across New Jersey including Essex-Morris, Monmouth and Passaic Counties. For more information, visit www.mhanj.org or call (800) 367-8850.