Let's be serious - we're all under a tremendous amount of stress. Our jobs, our relationships, our home life - everything has changed and not for the better. Many of the mundane tasks in our lives have become harder. The time we need to allot to daily tasks has become longer. All of this can erode our mental health. How do we find time for ourselves among these challenges?
Many of us are unaware how to get help and others are intimidated or embarrassed to seek help.
Here are five resources that can help any who struggle with mental health issues:
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping New Jersey's residents achieve and maintain mental health through advocacy, education and services. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have created the excellent New Jersey Mental HealthCares web-page which provides information and referrals for those in need of help. They can be reached either by email or phone seven days a week from 8am to 8pm. There is also a free and confidential online screening available. The site can be translated into several languages including Spanish, by choosing from a menu located at the bottom right of the page.
Mental Health First Aid Training
The mission of Mental Health Association in New Jersey includes educating the public on mental health and its related issues. As part of that objective, they have developed excellent Mental Health First Aid training. The training teaches non-professionals to identify a person suffering a mental health crisis, offer initial assistance, and connect the person with professional help. This training could be an asset for anyone working with the public.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness, New Jersey
The National Alliance on Mental Illness, New Jersey is a statewide non-profit group that seeks to help those with mental health issues and their families. The organization takes pride in its cultural outreach, public education, and anti-stigma programming. They have created a fairly comprehensive list of phone numbers and hotlines to organizations which provide help for those dealing with a wide range of mental health challenges and related issues.
Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services' Directory of Mental Health Services
The New Jersey Department of Human Services has its own Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services that aids those with serious and persistent mental illnesses. The division has assembled a Directory of Mental Health Services in New Jersey. It includes a wide assortment of providers who have been vetted by the state.
The NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services' Agency Listings
The NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services also provides a list of Mental Health agencies. Agencies may be a gateway to a deeper level of treatment than hotlines for those who need it. Additionally, this list is organized by state region giving it contrasting access points to the list above.
We hope you will find these resources helpful.
America prides itself on its standards of equity and justice, and much of our legislation reflects that spirit. However, knowing the laws, one's individual rights, and how "due process" works is as important a factor as the laws themselves. Unfortunately, our students often suffer from inequitable access to that information. Here are some resources that might help.
Five resources to help students understand legal issues that may come up during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Understanding Legal Issues
When a person needs information of a personal or confidential nature, they are frequently reluctant to approach a stranger to ask for help. The Legal Service of New Jersey - a non-profit legal aid organization - has set up a website to help overcome that obstacle. While not a replacement for actual legal advice or representation, the LSNJLAW website is a great place to gain a basic understanding of the legal issues involved in a specific situation. The website is easy to navigate and is divided into clear categories with access to resources, legal forms, manuals, and articles to help answer questions anyone might have. There is even a search function.
Legal Services of New Jersey
Legal Services of New Jersey, to quote their mission statement, "seeks to secure equal substantive and procedural justice for all economically disadvantaged people" and what greater mission is there? The organization manages a statewide effort to provide free legal assistance, information, and referrals to low-income people in civil matters. They can be reached either through the website's online intake form or by phone through their hotline. Just click on "EN ESPAÑOL" in the upper right corner to assess the Spanish version of the website.
ACLU of New Jersey
The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 in reaction to the U.S. government's clampdown of the labor movement. One hundred years later, the ACLU of New Jersey - our local branch of the organization - is still defending our civil rights. The organization not only advocates for equitable legislation, but represents individuals in court as well. If one of your students feels their civil rights are being violated, they can file a complaint with the ACLU of NJ at the link above.
New Jersey Division on Civil Rights
Discrimination is a daily part of many of our lives, ranging from the slight to the severe. The State of New Jersey has a specific department for handling discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. As part of the state Office of the Attorney General, the Division on Civil Rights employs investigators, attorneys, and professional support staff to review discrimination complaints. The department also participates in educational outreach efforts on anti-discrimination laws.
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Landlord-Tenant Information
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has a fairly comprehensive Landlord-Tenant webpage with a slew of information to inform residential landlords and tenants of their rights and responsibilities. The webpage provides links to informational PDFs on the pertinent laws regarding a comprehensive list of landlord-tenant issues ranging from condominium conversion, eviction, lease termination, foreclosures, and more.
We hope you will find these resources helpful.