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May Observed as Older Americans Month & Mental Health Awareness Month

Jun 20, 2022 12:50PM ● By Joe Nicastro

(l-r) Commissioner Douglas Cabana, Deputy Director John Krickus, Director Tayfun Selen, retired employee Carol Stoltz, Commissioner Stephen Shaw, Christine Hellyer (Director of the Morris County Office on Aging, Disabilities, & Community Programming) and Commissioner Deborah Smith.

The Morris County Board of County Commissioners issued proclamations for both Older Americans Month 2022 and Mental Health Awareness Month, both of which are observed annually each May across the United States.

“It is important every year to recognize the people in our society who went before us. They built this nation … and we also recognize the wisdom they have amassed over time, and that we may still benefit from it every day,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen during a work session meeting of the board.

He presented a framed proclamation to Christine Hellyer, Director of the Morris County Office on Aging, Disabilities, & Community Programming, and to Carol Stoltz, who retired from that office April 30 after 21 years as a care manager, working with seniors and people with disabilities.

“In our annual observance of Mental Health Awareness, we also give special thanks to our dedicated mental healthcare providers,” said Director Selen.

“That includes everyone in our Office of Health and our Department of Human Services, especially our Division of Community and Behavioral Health Services. It also includes the dedicated members of our Hope One mobile units and Morris County’s Navigating Hope program, and it includes the Morris County Mental Health Addictions Services Advisory Board, which is represented here tonight, among others,” Selen added.

He presented the proclamation for Mental Health Awareness Month to Morris County Mental Health Administrator Amy Archer and Cheryl Garodnick, Vice Chair of the Advisory Board.

Older Americans Month

“We are very lucky that Morris County and the Commissioner support our Morris County seniors. So, thank you to the Commissioners for all the support, and thank you to the administration for what you do for us to help the seniors in our community,” said Hellyer.

“I can’t emphasize the importance of the programs and services available to our seniors from Morris County. When we go into the homes of our seniors, the most important thing, other than their health, that they want is to age in place. They want to remain in their home. … I’m just so happy we were able to do that on behalf of the county,” said Stoltz of her 21 years working with seniors.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Commissioner Cabana, Deputy Director Krickus, Director Selen, Garodnick, Commissioner Shaw, Amy Archer and Commissioner Smith.

 “Now more than ever we are seeing a mental health crisis, not only in our county, but in the state and on a national level. So thank you very much for the recognition and thank you for all the support you give to Morris County residents when it comes to behavioral health,” said Mental Health Administrator Amy Archer.

“Thank you for this recognition and for supporting the community with funding sources … regarding mental health services. The current multi-level needs for mental health services include supporting resources that are addressing an opioid overdose epidemic, a suicide prevention initiative and a global pandemic. There’s no time like the present for us to prioritize mental health services,” said Garodnick of the Advisory Board.

Director Selen, Amy Archer (Mental Health Administrator) and Cheryl Garodnick (Vice Chair of the Advisory Board).