Forum Sets the Stage for a Partnership with Communities of Faith
On November 27, 2007, the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma, along with NAMI NJ, the Department of Human Services, and the Division of Mental Health Service, held a forum entitled: “Mental Illness: Respect, Understanding and Change in the Faith-Based Community.” The event was held at Mercer County Community College Conference Center, 1200 Old Trenton Rd., West Windsor, NJ, 08550.
The goal of the forum was to engage, enlighten and inform a distinguished audience of Mercer County Faith Leaders on the issue of mental illness and how stigma affects the communities we serve. The forum presented an extraordinary opportunity to create collaboration with the potential to change people’s lives.
Inspiring speakers were featured at the forum, including Department of Human Services Commissioner, Jennifer Velez, Assistant Commissioner Kevin Martone, and keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. John H. Harris. A panel of experts comprised of clergy, mental health consumers, and family members shared their experience and understanding of this important issue. Their testimony was compelling and enlightening, providing great insight into the issue of mental health stigma as it exists in communities of faith. Among the providers and organizations present to provide information and resources were Princeton House, Catholic Charities, and NAMI NJ.
The event was an extraordinary success, creating a foundation for a future partnership between the Council and communities of faith.