Mary Lynne Reynolds, MHASWNJ Executive Director, and Chief Christopher Winters, Pine Hill Police Dept.
This past June, over 100 people joined The MHASWNJ at Valleybrook Country Club to honor those individuals making a difference in the mental healthcommunity. The evening kicked off with a reception featuring the Cherry Hill East High School’s Jazz Standards Group that provided a wonderful beginning to a great evening. Two MHASWNJ Board members, five individuals, and three MHASWNJ staff members were honored for their contributions to the mental health community and The MHASWNJ.
Phil Kirchner, Mary Lynne Reynolds, and Ted Novak
J. Philip Kirchner, Esq. was recognized for serving an active and productive nine-year tenure as a MHASWNJ Board Member. Ted Novak, Esq. was honored for his service and dedication as The MHASWNJ Board President for the past two years. The Outstanding Volunteer Awards went to Bernadette Exley and Pauline Kohl of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church for their
Betty Mabine, MHASWNJ POST Program, Pauline Kohl, and Bernadette Exley
incredible work with The MHASWNJ’s Gathering Program and their consistent and gracious support of the mental health consumers served by The MHASWNJ. Susan Lobel, BSN was named Outstanding LEARN Student for her completion of Drexel University’s Accelerated RN Program, the shortest and most intense accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing track program in the country. The Outstanding Educator Award was given to Roberta Bankston-Leconey from Garfield Park Academy for her exceptional work with The CAMWERCS Program as a classroom behavioral facilitator. Chief Christopher Winters from the Pine Hill Police Department received the Outstanding Community Leader Award for his work and commitment to the agency’s CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Program and for having all of the officers in his department CIT certified. Merri Gomberg, Kelli Cochran-West, and Bernadette Geddes were honored for their years of service at The MHASWNJ. Merri has been with the agency for 10 years and serves as the Director of The CAMWERCS Program, Kelli has been at The MHASWNJ for 15 years and is the Director of Community Education, and Bernadette has worked as an Employment Specialist with the Works Rite Program for the past 15 years. The evening concluded with an inspiring personal story by guest speaker, Liz Spikol from Philadelphia Magazine. It truly was an exceptional evening that showcased the accomplishments of The MHASWNJ and the talented, caring, and compassionate individuals who are making a difference in the lives of those living with mental illness. For more pictures of the evening click here.
Depression is no longer the No. 1 mental-health concern among college students
Help Find New Homes for 1,000 People with Disabilities
There are over 145,000 people living with serious disabilities in New Jersey who collect Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits which means they live on less than $800 per month while struggling with developmental disabilities, mental illness, addictions and/or homelessness. Many of these individuals cannot afford to live independently and are relegated to living at home with aging parents, living in substandard housing or have no place to live. New Jersey’s Department of Human Services provides housing in licensed community beds or through rental vouchers to only approximately 15,000 people.
On December 14, 2012, Mary Joy Sherlach, school psychologist at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, gave her life to protect the students she served. Her family and friends created Mary’s Fund to honor her legacy and continue her important work.
The mission of the fund is to support programs that aid the mental and social wellness of children and adolescents as Mary did in her day-to-day life. Initially created in Fairfield County, Connecticut, the New Jersey chapter will support mental health charities such as the Mental Health Association in Southwestern New Jersey.
This new chapter of Mary’s Fund was envisioned by South Jersey residents Maura and Eric Schwartz. Maura is one of Mary’s two daughters. Maura and Eric have a vested interest in the psychological health of children and adolescents and want to continue Mary’s life work.
The Mary’s Fund Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, August 28, 2015, at the Ramblewood Country Club, 200 Country Club Pkwy, Mt. Laurel, NJ.