Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hidden in Plain Sight - Sonia Ron



HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

Mental Health and Substance Use

Sonia Ron
Sonia Ron

 





When I decided to run for Washington Borough Council, I was asked why I was running. When I thought about this, I knew immediately that I was running to make a difference in the lives of those around us who have lacked a voice. This involved finally talking about a truth that has been hidden in plain sight for too long. Mental health and substance use are conversations that we just don't have but should. We all know someone, a family member, a friend, or a colleague who has been affected by mental health or substance use issues. It's a conversation that is long past due. We can no longer just look the other way and continue to lose our friends, our families, and, perhaps most importantly, our young.

Each and every day we lose loved ones. I have thought about this long and hard as I am sure many of you have. Every generation has had to face something in the past and perhaps this is our fight. Americans are made of strong stock; we fight, and we persevere. I know that you are asking yourself what do words have to do with mental health and substance use? My answer is "everything!" It might not be that simple, but it is a beginning.

The first step is information. These are just a few numbers that may make all the difference:
  1. Warren County information on mental health services include the 24/7 crisis line at 908-454-5141.
  2. Reach NJ is the Addiction Services hotline for the state at 1-844-REACHNJ (732-2465).

Other local services for substance use are:

  1. Parent to Parent (908-223-1951),
  2. Community Prevention Resources (908-835-1800),
  3. Freedom House (908-777-3102), and
  4. Family Guidance Center (908-689-1000), which can be used for both mental health and addiction services.
  5. IME (Interim Managing Entity) 844 276-2777 for those with Medicaid and or no health insurance for alcohol and drug treatment.
  6. The New Jersey HOPE line 855 654-6735 is a 24/7peer support and suicide prevention hotline.
  7. Text HOME 744741 https://www.crisistextline.org/ (their tagline is "We're here for everything: anxiety, depression, suicide, school.")
For more information on resources available to you and your loved ones, you may contact:
Laura Richter
Mental Health Administrator/Coordinator of Addiction Services
Warren County Department of Human Services
1 Shotwell Drive
Belvidere, NJ 07823
P: (908)475-6237
F: (908)475-6206
I ask you to support initiatives, support groups that offer assistance, encourage people that you know to reach out and get that help. Most importantly, I ask you to be there, help them make that call, encourage that first step, and, if necessary, take them by the hand and walk with them. We, together, can make change happen. Because we all know that alone is so much harder. Most importantly, be willing to talk about it. Don't allow mental illness and substance abuse to hide in the shadows. Stand up and be willing to share your story with others.

Sincerely,
Sonia Ron

 

 



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