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May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

Someone Close to You May Be Suffering Silently

Post Date:05/15/2019

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, emotional distress is widespread; approximately 1 in 5 adults live with mental illness. If untreated, it can become a serious condition that may affect a person’s ability to attend school, work, maintain healthy relationships and live in safe and permanent housing. People who suffer from a mental condition often self-medicate by misusing alcohol or drugs to cope with stress, which can further interfere with their recovery and treatment options.

By managing one’s mental and physical health, a person may be better able to manage their symptoms or reduce the chance of experiencing emotional distress. Engaging in fun activities, getting routine annual exams, seeking social support, maintaining friendships, a healthy diet, and communicating openly are all ways to help a person stay balanced. It is important to speak up and tell a trusted friend or healthcare professional if you are experiencing extreme stress.

What are the signs of emotional distress?

Recognizing the signs of emotional distress is important. According to the Campaign to Change Direction, there are five signs that indicate that a person may be experiencing problems. If someone is exhibiting different speech, sleep and eating patterns, a decrease in energy levels, a loss of interest in activities, agitation, moodiness or anxiety, social isolation, a lack of personal hygiene, a sense of hopelessness, and feelings of worthlessness or being overwhelmed they should seek professional help immediately.

There is hope. Many people have found help from one or a combination of treatment options including talk therapy, medication, support groups, hotlines, and peer services; and for some individuals more intensive care, such as inpatient treatment is necessary.

Are you experiencing an emotional crisis?

Contact the following resources:

  • Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services for adults and children, call 908-526-4100.
  • Mobile Response Stabilization Services for people ages four to 21, call 877-652-7624.
  • NJ Hopeline Suicide Prevention at 855-654-6735.
  • Safe + Sound Somerset Domestic Violence Hotline, text or call 866-685-1122.
  • National Suicide Prevention LifeLine number, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

 How do I find other resources?

  • Call your insurance company and ask for a list of clinicians and providers that are covered by your policy.
  • If insured through NJFamilyCare, call 1-800-356-1561.
  • If insured through Medicaid/Family Care, call 1-800-701-0710.
  • Uninsured or underinsured can click here to find agencies that offer sliding-scale fees and payment plans for people who meet the income requirements.
  • Richard Hall Community Mental Health Center is a provider for the uninsured and underinsured and offers a sliding scale to Somerset County residents, call 908-725-2800 or email
  • Click here for a list of drug and alcohol treatment recovery centers.
  • Follow the PerformCare link to learn about resources for children and adolescents, or call 877-652-7624.
  • Visit New Jersey Self-Help Group Clearinghouse for a list of support groups to help those recovering from mental health and addiction conditions.

For more information, contact the Somerset County Department of Human Services at 908-704-6300.

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