Princeton, Mercer agencies unite in flag-raising for Mental Health Awareness Month

June 7, 2024 at 1:57 p.m.
Representatives of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, pose with the Mental Health Awareness Month flag at the May 7 flag raising, along with other Princeton and Mercer County community leaders. Courtesy photo
Representatives of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, pose with the Mental Health Awareness Month flag at the May 7 flag raising, along with other Princeton and Mercer County community leaders. Courtesy photo

By EMMALEE ITALIA
Contributing Editor

Updated June 7, 2024

In recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month, representatives from Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, the Municipality of Princeton, social service agencies and community leaders gathered May 7 at the Princeton Battle Monument for a flag-raising ceremony.

About 50 people attended the event, which saw the green “Mental Health Awareness Month” flag raised to fly for the entire month of May. The flag will help to illustrate the importance of addressing mental health challenges as a community, and that resources are available so that no one needs to manage those challenges alone.

“We were thrilled with the show of support we received from the Municipality of Princeton, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Mercer and New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA) for our flag raising,” said CCDOT’s chief nurse executive Dr. Lisa Merritt. “These partnerships are vital to ensuring individuals have access to all the services they need to stay healthy.”

This practical cooperation ensures, she continued, that “if Catholic Charities doesn’t provide what someone needs, we know who does and can make the referral. We all work in concert to maintain the well-being of the community.”

The flag raising was reflective of the relationship begun between CCDOT and Princeton with the January opening of Princeton Integrated Health Services, a clinic in the building that houses Princeton’s Health Department.

“The goal of the clinic is to make behavioral health services more accessible,” said Hollis Painting, CCDOT communications and social media manager. “People can walk-in without having an appointment; they can also receive services if they do not have insurance.”

Princeton Mayor Mark Freda and Moses also offered remarks during the ceremony, and community mental health resources were available from NJAMHAA and NJHCQI.

Advocacy materials were also on hand to help individuals highlight the need for funding for mental health services in the 2025 state budget. The Princeton Health Department, NAMI Mercer and CCDOT offered general information on mental health as well as where to find behavioral health and substance use treatment services.

“It’s estimated that one-in-five adults has a mental illness,” Dr. Merritt pointed out. “People with lower incomes or individuals without insurance may not realize behavioral health services are available to them.

“Our goal with this clinic is twofold. Our first aim is to remove barriers to mental health and addiction services for residents of the Municipality,” Dr. Merritt continued. “We also want to provide connections to medical, housing and food resources if they are needed. Many of these wraparound services are available through our Community Services team.”

She noted that CCDOT’s Early Intervention Support Services clinic in Hamilton, as well as in the agency’s new Princeton Integrated Behavioral Health Services clinic, “people can walk in – without an appointment, without insurance – and receive the mental health care or substance use treatment they need.”

CCDOT has been a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic since 2017. As such, the agency ensures access to coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care. CCDOT serves individuals seeking care for mental health or substance use, regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age.

For more information about the Princeton Integrated Behavioral Health clinic, visit: https://www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org/pibh/. For a list of mental health services provided by CCDOT, visit https://www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org/services/mental-health/ or call 800-360-7711.

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.


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Updated June 7, 2024

In recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month, representatives from Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, the Municipality of Princeton, social service agencies and community leaders gathered May 7 at the Princeton Battle Monument for a flag-raising ceremony.

About 50 people attended the event, which saw the green “Mental Health Awareness Month” flag raised to fly for the entire month of May. The flag will help to illustrate the importance of addressing mental health challenges as a community, and that resources are available so that no one needs to manage those challenges alone.

“We were thrilled with the show of support we received from the Municipality of Princeton, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Mercer and New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA) for our flag raising,” said CCDOT’s chief nurse executive Dr. Lisa Merritt. “These partnerships are vital to ensuring individuals have access to all the services they need to stay healthy.”

This practical cooperation ensures, she continued, that “if Catholic Charities doesn’t provide what someone needs, we know who does and can make the referral. We all work in concert to maintain the well-being of the community.”

The flag raising was reflective of the relationship begun between CCDOT and Princeton with the January opening of Princeton Integrated Health Services, a clinic in the building that houses Princeton’s Health Department.

“The goal of the clinic is to make behavioral health services more accessible,” said Hollis Painting, CCDOT communications and social media manager. “People can walk-in without having an appointment; they can also receive services if they do not have insurance.”

Princeton Mayor Mark Freda and Moses also offered remarks during the ceremony, and community mental health resources were available from NJAMHAA and NJHCQI.

Advocacy materials were also on hand to help individuals highlight the need for funding for mental health services in the 2025 state budget. The Princeton Health Department, NAMI Mercer and CCDOT offered general information on mental health as well as where to find behavioral health and substance use treatment services.

“It’s estimated that one-in-five adults has a mental illness,” Dr. Merritt pointed out. “People with lower incomes or individuals without insurance may not realize behavioral health services are available to them.

“Our goal with this clinic is twofold. Our first aim is to remove barriers to mental health and addiction services for residents of the Municipality,” Dr. Merritt continued. “We also want to provide connections to medical, housing and food resources if they are needed. Many of these wraparound services are available through our Community Services team.”

She noted that CCDOT’s Early Intervention Support Services clinic in Hamilton, as well as in the agency’s new Princeton Integrated Behavioral Health Services clinic, “people can walk in – without an appointment, without insurance – and receive the mental health care or substance use treatment they need.”

CCDOT has been a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic since 2017. As such, the agency ensures access to coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care. CCDOT serves individuals seeking care for mental health or substance use, regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age.

For more information about the Princeton Integrated Behavioral Health clinic, visit: https://www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org/pibh/. For a list of mental health services provided by CCDOT, visit https://www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org/services/mental-health/ or call 800-360-7711.

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.

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