NEPTUNE – The Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHA) continues to expand its services for the families of veterans and active duty service members.
MHA, the NJ Survivors Outreach Services and U.S. Army Support Activity (ASA) Fort Dix are offering an event called, Wellness and Strength in Difficult Times. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at the American Legion Hall, 21 Gully Road.
Survivors, veterans and community members, who have been touched by military suicide, are encouraged to attend to gain support, resources and self-care tips.
Facilitating the event will be:
- Thomas Morgan, a private practice psychologist and speaker/presenter who specializes in veterans’ and their families’ needs.
- Charles Wuth, LCSW at the Lakewood Veterans Center and Vietnam Veteran.
- Peggy Farrell, chairwoman of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Central Jersey Chapter.
- Bonnie Lyons, a board member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Central Jersey Chapter.
- Pamela Schott, LCSW, CPM, DRCC, who is the MHA director of juvenile justice programs.
In addition to the event, MHA has in place a number of free programs that can be utilized by returning soldiers’ and veterans’ family members.
This past year, MHA expanded the promotion and outreach for these services and asked Schott to coordinate these efforts. Schott was formerly the director of the Fleet and Family Support Center at Naval Station Lakehurst and Family Advocacy at Naval Station Earle. Under her supervision, MHA has created two free family support groups have been formed to help veterans’ families: the Sanctuary and Safe Place programs. Each support group is held on a monthly basis.
The Safe Place program offers support to family and friends who have lost an active duty member or veteran to casualties of war or suicide. The Sanctuary program offers support for family and friends of active duty members or veterans experiencing emotional difficulties.
“We hope that through presentations at VFWs, support groups, and events like Wellness and Strength in Difficult Times, the word will be spread to all military personnel, veterans and their families, that MHA is here to help,” said Wendy DePedro, MHA executive director.
Additional information about the Wellness and Strength in Difficult Times event, MHA’s Safe Place or Sanctuary support groups or general questions is available by visiting www.mentalhealthmonmouth.org or calling 732-542-6422.