Burlington supports mental health with stigma-free designation

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MOUNT HOLLY – In an effort to support people with mental illness and addiction, Burlington County Commissioners last week approved a resolution designating Burlington as a “stigma-free county.”

According to a statement, the resolution “makes it clear that the county recognizes the importance of education and awareness, and that commissioners support local resources available to treat mental illness and substance abuse disorders so that residents do not suffer. not alone or feeling hopeless. “

The resolution was accompanied by the creation of the Stigma Free Task Force, which will help the county and local governments to better engage and educate residents.

Commissioner Linda Hynes, who will also serve as the liaison between Council and the task force, said the county wanted to create a culture where people can seek care without fear.

“By designating the county as stigma free, we are declaring that there can be no health without mental health,” Hynes said, “and we will remove any barriers our residents may face before seeking or undergoing treatment. recovery “.

Burlington County has made a number of efforts to support mental health in recent years. In 2018, the Post House processing center in Pemberton reopened; and in September 2020, the county launched the recovery center in the county human resources building in Westampton. A Hope One mobile outreach unit was also recently launched to help connect residents with recovery specialists.

“Conditions like depression, anxiety and drug addiction are illnesses and should be treated as such,” Commissioner-Director Felicia Hopson said. “Our resolution says it clearly and says that our county will support those who suffer from these conditions by raising awareness of the resources available and by opening discussions so that others feel comfortable presenting their illness.”

Ahmad Austin Jr. is a longtime South Jersey resident telling stories within the health and cannabis industries for Burlington County Times, Courier-Post and The Daily Journal. For story advice, contact [email protected]

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