West Milford is designated A STIGMA-FREE ZONE and Celebrates the first ever

West Milford Stigma-Free Family Fun Day on 6/22/19

The World Health Organization estimates that one in four adults experiences a diagnosable
mental illness every year, and that depression alone is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Sadly,
many individuals who suffer do not seek help because they fear stigma. Stigma is the feeling of being
judged harshly by others simply for experiencing a mental illness. On March 6, 2019 the West Milford
Governing Body took the first step towards eliminating stigma by passing a resolution designating the
Township of West Milford as a Stigma-Free Zone. A Stigma-Free Zone is an environment in which
residents may feel free to seek treatment for their mental conditions without the fear of being judged in
a negative way by friends, families, co-workers and acquaintances. Passing a resolution, however, was
only the first step. The next step can only be taken by the community working together and developing
their own Stigma-Free task force.
The mission of West Milford Stigma-Free Task Force is to increase mental health awareness,
promote acceptance for those who live with mental health conditions, and to provide support for those
who are suffering. The Stigma-Free Task Force will kick off its awareness raising initiative at the first
ever West Milford Stigma Free Family Fun Day, June 22 nd from 10am-2pm, at the West Milford
Recreation Center, 66 Cahill Cross road. This free event will feature free food & children’s activities,
open mic, face painting, yoga, and Scott’s Fun Run. Stigma-Free West Milford will also be offering a free
Youth Mental Health First Aid training on June 27 th at the Highlands Family Success Center. The training
runs from 9am-5pm and a free lunch is provided. For more information on either event, email
info@highlandsfsc.org or call (973) 506-6575.
The West Milford Stigma-Free Task Force would like to invite the entire West Milford community
to join them in their efforts in ensuring that no one resident needs to feel hopeless or alone. The
elimination of stigma will enable residents to ask for help when needed so recovery can begin, hope is
inspired and tragedies are avoided. West Milford Stigma-Free urges anyone who would like more
information on the Stigma-Free initiative to contact Kelly Hart at the Highlands Family Success Center,
(973) 506-6575.



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