State of New Jersey
Executive Order #58

Acting Governor Richard J. Codey
WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 1 (2004) created a Governor's Task Force on Mental Health (hereinafter the "Task Force") to undertake a comprehensive review of New Jersey's mental health system, and to make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature concerning legislative, regulatory and administrative changes that are needed to improve the delivery of and access to mental health services in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 40 (2005) directed the implementation of certain of the Task Force's recommendations, and other recommendations have been implemented through the FY 2006 Appropriations Act, as well as the filing and subsequent adoption of Reorganization Plan 002-2005; and

WHEREAS, legislative proposals implementing other Task Force recommendations are currently being considered by the Legislature; and

WHEREAS, because of the importance of the mental health issue, it remains a top priority of this Administration, and much more needs to be done to address this public health issue; and

WHEREAS, the stigma of mental illness is the primary barrier to the achievement of wellness and recovery and full social integration; and

WHEREAS, for New Jersey to reduce the burden of mental illness, the stigma of such illness must no longer be tolerated; and

WHEREAS, combating stigma must be a top priority in our effort to create a better mental health system in New Jersey;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD J. CODEY, Acting Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. There is hereby established in the Department of Human Services a Governor's Council on Mental Health Stigma (hereinafter "Council"). The Council shall consist of 11 voting members, including 10 public members appointed by the Governor to serve at his pleasure, and the Commissioner of Human Services, or his designee, ex-officio. The Governor shall designate a Chair and Vice Chair from among the members of the Council. The Council may include representatives of mental health service consumers and family members, mental health and health professionals, media, government, business, law enforcement and education. The members of the Council shall serve without compensation.

  2. The Council shall develop a master plan organizing the activities of the State aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of mental disorders and overcoming the stigma associated with mental illness, via the coordinated efforts of new and existing initiatives with activities throughout the State aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of mental disorders and overcoming the stigma associated with them.

  3. The Council is further authorized to perform the following functions:

    1. Develop and maintain a mental health stigma website and telephone hotline;

    2. Educate the public and the media about the evils of mental health stigma, utilizing such methods as educating volunteers, hosting community forums, maintaining a speaker's bureau, distributing informative material, including public service announcements, pamphlets and the like, raising awareness in the workplace and supporting media watch groups that focus on mental health stigma issues;

    3. Performing advocacy services and outreach to local organizations, senior citizens, pre- and post-natal and other specialty groups;

    4. Developing resources to combat the "not-in-my-backyard" syndrome;

    5. Promoting peer support groups;

    6. Improving training by including appropriate information about mental illness to primary care physicians, judicial/law enforcement organizations, emergency medical technician staff and clergy;

    7. Promoting targeted research and evaluating anti-stigma efforts.

  4. The Council shall consult with psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and other professionals on a regular basis during the course of its work.

  5. The Council is authorized to hire a full-time Executive Director, utilizing the funds appropriated to the Council.

  6. The Council is authorized to call upon any department, office, division or agency of this State to supply it with records and other information, personnel or assistance that it deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, officer, division or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate with the Council and to furnish it with such records, information, personnel and assistance as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order.

  7. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 7th day
of October in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand
and Five, and of the Independence of the United States,
the Two Hundred and Thirtieth.

/s/ Richard J. Codey

Acting Governor



/s/ Paul T. Fader

Chief Counsel to the Governor