Monmouth County takes step to “End the Stigma”
FREEHOLD, NJ –The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously voted to change the name of the Division of Mental Health & Addiction Services to the Division of Behavioral Health in an effort to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley, who spearheaded the name change, thanked the Freeholder Board for their support in addressing one of the biggest hurdles anyone who suffers from mental illness is overcoming, which is the stigma attached to it.
“Combining the offices of mental health and addiction services is another first in the state for Monmouth County and it is a great step towards becoming stigma free,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley. “This helps us to be able to provide better services to the two populations, mental health and addiction, which really aren’t two separate populations, but one woven together. So I am thrilled that this is the direction we are taking.”
The resolution to change the name of the Division was passed at the Freeholder’s regular public meeting held on Thursday, Feb. 13.
“Here in Monmouth County, we pride ourselves on taking action when we say we are going to do something,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “We said we were going to do our part to end the stigma around mental health and better serve our residents, and that is exactly what we are doing by renaming this Division and through the creation of Monmouth ACTS.”
“Monmouth ACTS is another example of something being done in Monmouth County that is not being done in anywhere else and a first of its kind,” added Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley. “I am very proud to be a part of this County and work alongside so many people who are devoted to making a positive impact on our communities.”
Monmouth ACTS (Assisting Community Through Services) was created by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 2018 to carry out recommendations of a Human Services Needs Assessment. This innovative public-private partnership brings together County employees from the Department of Human Services and community/private partners on the Monmouth ACTS Advisory Council (MAAC) to enhance access to services for County residents. For more information, visit www.MonmouthACTS.org.