Stigma Free & Mental Health

New Nationwide 988 Phone Number for
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

On July 16th, the new 988 phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline went live. 988 is now available for call, text, or chat for those experiencing a mental health-related or suicidal crisis, or those looking to help a loved one through a crisis. The aim of 988 is to improve access to crisis services in a way that meets the country’s growing suicide and mental health related crisis care needs. For more information about this new hotline, please check out this webpage from the NJ Department of Human Services.  







Bergen County Mental Health and Community Support Resources Accessible During Covid-19 
COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit
ECTA COVID-19 Family Resources
Supporting Mental Well-being During COVID-19


877-294-HELP (4357)


CBH Care of Westwood Launches Telehealth Mental Health Services During Covid-19 - click here for all information. Anyone in need of mental health services  can contact the CBH Care Access Center at 201-646-0195. Callers will quickly be connected to a licensed professional. For more information on CBH’s services, please visit NJ Offering Telehealth Mental Health & Addiction Help Services During Covid-19 Consumers may contact our Admission Department in Paramus at (201) 986-5000 to schedule a virtual intake for addiction and behavioral health services. Their telehealth solution is an easy-to-use application that can be accessed by a smart phone or laptop/computer with a webcam. CarePlus NJ accepts all major insurances and will ensure the telehealth service is covered by your plan prior to scheduling an intake. Please contact the Admissions department
for more information or to schedule services.  Visit website here for additional resources.

Mental Health Association in NJ - Call or Text for Emotional Support Crisis Counseling Virtual Groups Available  **CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE**


Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service. It’s normal to feel this way. Talk with your friends and families, reach out to battle buddies, connect with a peer-to-peer network, or sign up for mental health services. Scroll down for a list common reactions and coping advice.

Resources available right now

Common Reactions

In reaction to current events in Afghanistan, Veterans may:

  • Feel frustrated, sad, helpless, grief or distressed

  • Feel angry or betrayed

  • Experience an increase in mental health symptoms like symptoms of PTSD or depression

  • Sleep poorly, drink more or use more drugs 

  • Try to avoid all reminders or media or shy away from social situations

  • Have more military and homecoming memories

Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service.
Veterans may feel like they need to expect and/or prepare for the worst. For example, they may:

  • Become overly protective, vigilant, and guarded

  • Become preoccupied by danger

  • Feel a need to avoid being shocked by, or unprepared for, what may happen in the future

Feeling distress is a normal reaction to negative events, especially ones that feel personal. It can be helpful to let yourself feel those feelings rather than try to avoid them. Often, these feelings will naturally run their course. If they continue without easing up or if you feel overwhelmed by them, the suggestions below can be helpful.

Strategies for Managing Ongoing Distress

At this moment, it may seem like all is lost, like your service or your sacrifices were for nothing. Consider the ways that your service made a difference, the impact it had on others’ lives or on your own life. Remember that now is just one moment in time and that things will continue to change.
It can be helpful to focus on the present and to engage in the activities that are most meaningful and valuable to you. Is there something you can do today that is important to you?  This can be as an individual, a family member, a parent, or a community member. Something that is meaningful to you in regard to your work or your spirituality? Such activities won’t change the past or the things you can’t control, but they can help life feel meaningful and reduce distress, despite the things you cannot change.
It can also help to consider your thinking. Ask yourself if your thoughts are helpful to you right now. Are there ways you can change your thinking to be more accurate and less distressing? For example, are you using extreme thinking where you see the situation as all bad or all good?  If so, try and think in less extreme terms. For example, rather than thinking “my service in Afghanistan was useless” consider instead “I helped keep Afghanistan safe.”
Finally, consider more general coping strategies that you may want to try including:


  • Engage in Positive Activities. Try to engage in positive, healthy, or meaningful activities, even if they are small, simple actions. Doing things that are rewarding, meaningful, or enjoyable, even if you don’t feel like it, can make you feel better.

  • Stay Connected. Spend time with people who give you a sense of security, calm, or happiness, or those who best understand what you are going through.

    • Practice Good Self Care. Look for positive coping strategies that help you manage your emotions. Listening to music, exercising, practicing breathing routines, spending time in nature or with animals, journaling, or reading inspirational text are some simple ways to help manage overwhelming or distressing emotions.

  • Stick to Your Routines. It can be helpful to stick to a schedule for when you sleep, eat, work, and do other day-to-day activities.

  • Limit Media Exposure. Limit how much news you take in if media coverage is increasing your distress.

  • Use a mobile app. Consider one of VA’s self-help apps (see such as PTSD Coach which has tools that can help you deal with common reactions like, stress, sadness, and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.

  • PTSD Coach Online. A series of online video coaches will guide you through 17 tools to help you manage stress. PTSD Coach Online is used on a computer, rather than a mobile device, and therefore can offer tools that involve writing.

If you develop your own ways of adapting to ongoing events and situations, you may gain a stronger sense of being able to deal with challenges, a greater sense of meaning or purpose, and an ability to mentor and support others in similar situations.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is asking for our help and support. Please consider participating in this upcoming local walk by registering here:
The global pandemic of the past year and half has had a significant effect on the mental health of our community members. It has also brought to light the critical need for mental health support and advocacy at the local level.
Post-pandemic, this must continue to be a major focus and priority for Bergen County municipalities. Washington Township has been asked if we would consider supporting the 2022 Bergen County Out of the Darkness Walk by forming our own fundraising team.
The Out of the Darkness Walks are proof that when people work together they can make big changes in the world. They are AFSP’s largest fundraiser – they produce millions for suicide prevention programs, unite those who have been affected by suicide, and create communities that are smart about mental health.
A Walk is being held on Sunday, October 16th at Saddle River County Park- Otto C Pehle area, with check-in/registration at 9 AM. It will feature a DJ, AFSP speakers, information and merchandise, as well as remembrance activities for survivors and inspirational activities for those who struggle. Although many people walk in memory of someone lost to suicide, there are numerous teams comprised of dedicated community members, such as town leaders, administrators, and business owners who walk to demonstrate their unity in the fight against suicide and the collective effort to overcome the stigma of mental illness.
To register a team and begin fundraising for the 2022 Bergen County Out of the Darkness Walk you can click on this link
We cannot fight this fight without everyone's support. Together we can change the conversation about mental health, help those who struggle and put a stop to this tragic loss of life.
  Are you or someone you know struggling, isolated, or feeling     burdened? Could you or someone you know benefit from having a   mentor? Bergen Volunteers is now offering Mentoring Programs to   seniors and children. Visit us here for further information.
Watch 👀 some of our own HOMETOWN HEROES‼️ With the help of WCTVNJ, we recently had the pleasure of video interviewing some of our health care workers who reside right here in the Township. These 🎥interviews are available on WCTV.  We hope you all will take the time and watch our own homegrown heroes offer their personal Mental Health techniques. Visit WCTV here:
Our Board of Health and our Mental Health Committee have worked hard this month to offer residents various tools to increase their daily level of mental health as well as through the pandemic. Please peruse our Board of Health, Mental Health and Covid-19 Resource web pages on this website.

We wish to thank:
Desserie Morgan-St. Joseph’s Medical Center
Gianna Beckmeyer-St. Joseph’s Medical Center
Vickie Beck-Clifton Board of Education
Rosemarie Ranuro-Valley Hospital
Jillian Rucereto-Englewood Hospital
Laura Roberts-Township resident
Thank you for the opportunity of serving our community!
Judi Beckmeyer,M.Ed.LCADC