September 8, 2014. The death of Robin Williams brought to the forefront the effects of depression. However, this tragedy also taught Americans an important lesson – that substance use and mental health disorders are often chronic and recurring, requiring ongoing support, services and treatments.
"Knowing where to turn to get help and understanding what services may be available can be critical to help a loved one during crisis, when time is of the essence," said Dr. Linda Sacco, Administrator, Behavioral Health Services at Jersey City Medical Center – Barnabas Health. "It is important to increase awareness about mental health and substance use disorders and to break the silence that is often the result of the stigma attached to these disorders. The more we talk openly about these issues, the more those in need of help are likely to seek much needed services."
Jersey City Medical Center - Barnabas Health provides a full continuum of services geared to helping children, teens and adults cope with and recover from mental illness and substance abuse issues. This includes:
- Psychiatric emergency screening services and mobile crisis services for those experiencing a psychiatric emergency
- Inpatient psychiatric services for those in need of inpatient evaluation and stabilization
- Involuntary outpatient commitment for those who might be experiencing an emergency and are refusing treatment but do not require an inpatient stay
- Partial hospitalization programs for youth and adults for those who need intensive outpatient services
- Inpatient detoxification services and outpatient substance abuse services
- Adult and child outpatient programs for those needing therapy and/or medication management
- Intensive case management, supportive housing, justice involved services, which include case management programs for adults needing assistance in the community to avoid hospitalization through linkage, support and advocacy
"In New Jersey, one in five people has a mental health disorder and nearly one million people have a substance use disorder, yet access to treatment remains woefully low," said Dr. Sacco. "Less than 30 percent of adults in need of mental health services are able to access care and less than 7 percent of the people with a substance abuse problem are able to get into treatment."
Despite these facts, she said, everyday people can and do recover from mental health and substance use disorders.
"September is National Recovery Month, which focuses on observance of the huge gains made by those in recovery from these conditions, just as we would those who improve from such health conditions as cancer, diabetes and heart disease," said Dr. Sacco. "Each September, thousands of prevention, treatment and recovery programs celebrate their success. Robin Williams' suicide highlighted the fact that even someone in the public eye, with full access to care and a supportive network, can feel so hopeless in the moment, and take their own life. Here in Hudson County, it is even more vital that services for mental health and addiction treatment are well publicized, easy to access and affordable so that anyone in need of treatment can get the most effective treatment and other recovery supports that can help them to achieve and maintain recovery."
Contact: Howard Matzner/Steven Clark