The Borough of Chester is proud to join the Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative. The initiative is a county-wide program which aims to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorders.
We are dedicated to raising awareness of these illnesses by creating an environment where affected individuals are supported in their efforts to achieve wellness and recovery.
“The Mayor and Council of Chester Borough are pleased to join our neighboring communities in fighting the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction abuse through the Morris County Stigma Free Initiative. Mental illness and drug abuse touch the lives of many, not only in Chester Borough but in all of society. No one should feel less of a person regardless of an illness or addiction. We support the initiative and hope that through this program, all residents will feel accepted and supported by all.’’—Mayor Janet Hoven
The Chester Borough Council passed resolution R2018-44 during the regular meeting of the Mayor and council on April 3, 2018. The Borough is among the many Moris County municipalities, school districts, and businesses–including the Township of Chester and the Chester School District–who have also taken the pledge.
To learn more about this important program, visit: morriscountystigmafree.org
What is Mental Illness?
Mental illnesses refer to disorders generally characterized by dysregulation of-of mood, though, and/or behavior. Mental illness encompasses a variety of disorders ranging from depression and anxiety to substance and alcohol use disorder and bipolar disorder. Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income.
What is Stigma?
Stigma is a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labeled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. Stigma brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness, and reluctance to seek or at help.
The World Health Organization ranks mental health conditions, including alcohol and substance use disorders, as the leading cause of disability in the United States and Canada, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. 1 in 4 adults experience a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year (approximately 61.5 million Americans) and 1 in 17 adults live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Yet more than half will not seek treatment. Why?
Despite its prevalence in our society, mental health still has a stigma attached to it.
The primary reason individuals fail to seek the help they need is due to the stigma associated with the disease of mental illness. Main reasons cited are shame and fear of judgment from friends, family, and co-workers. Such judgment is often rooted in a lack of knowledge or training.
It is our goal to disseminate information and foster a stigma-free environment where people are free from judgment and can get the help they need to recover from the disease.
For more information on the disease of mental illness, visit nami.org.