TOMS RIVER, N.J. – According to the World Health Organization, mental illness results in more disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. In honor of National Mental Health Month in May, mental health professionals at Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center in Toms River hope to build community awareness about getting treatment and support to manage mental health conditions.
Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center will offer a variety of free, confidential mental health screenings on Thursday, May 14 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, located at 1691 U.S. Highway 9 in Toms River. Screenings to be offered on Mental Health Screening Day include those for depression, anxiety, stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These screenings are open to the public and are designed to educate individuals about the signs and symptoms of mental health issues.
"While mental health conditions are common, treatment is available for individuals suffering from emotional and psychological pain," said Joe Hicks, President and Chief Executive Officer, Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Network. "The key is diagnosing the condition and providing proper treatment so individuals can go on to lead productive, happy lives."
"Mental health is an essential part of each person's overall health and wellness. At times, everyone faces challenges, which puts their mental health at risk and cause stress," says Christine Belluardo-Tierney, MAS, BSW, Vice President of Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Services. "Many people are hesitant to get help due to stigma, lack of information or cost. We can help individuals find healthy ways to manage challenges which, in turn, can lower the risk of a mental health illness and even other health problems."
The Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center offers these tips for better mental health:
- Connect with others. Don't cope with stress alone. Talking to a trusted friend, family member, support group or counselor can make you feel better. Spending time with positive, loving people can ease stress and improve your mood.
- Relax your mind. Relax by listening to soothing music, reading a book or doing a quiet activity. Consider deep breathing, meditation or massage therapy.
- Exercise. Physical activity relieves tense muscles, improves your mood and sleep, and increases energy and strength. Researchers say that exercise also eases symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Get enough rest. Getting enough sleep helps you recover from the stresses of the day. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
- Help others. Helping others builds social networks, improves self-esteem and can give you a sense of purpose and achievement.
- Know your limits. If you're overwhelmed at home, atwork or with friends, learn how to say "no." It may feel uncomfortable at first, so practice saying "no" with the people you trust most.
- Watch your negative self-talk. Try not to put yourself down. For example, if you don't make it to the gym this week, don't call yourself lazy. Instead, think about the specific factor that may have kept you from going to the gym. "I wasn't able to work out because I had to work late, but next week, I'll make it a priority to go."
- Write down three good things that happen to you each day for a week. Also write down why each good thing happened. Thinking about the good things in your life and expressing gratitude may actually help you feel happier.
The Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center offers an extensive array of high-quality, clinically-focused programs. These programs include a 100-bed acute care psychiatric facility which provides inpatient and intensive outpatient programs for adults and older adults diagnosed with psychiatric and dual disorders. At the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, the multidisciplinary staff includes experienced professionals in nearly every facet of behavioral health care. This allows us to provide truly customized and highly specialized treatment tracks, as well as programs for the dually diagnosed.
Pre-registration is encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. To register for the free screening day or for further information about the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, please call the 24-hour Access Line at
CONTACT: Shari Beirne