The MHANJ’s NJ Mental Health Players (NJMHP) is a highly successful, interactive community education program. It is longest running program of its type in the state. Volunteers are trained to depict realistic scenarios involving mental health issues. These presentations provide audiences with a dynamic way to receive basic education about mental illness and become sensitized to the stigma that is often associated with having mental health challenges. Performances usually consist of two customized, audience-specific secenes, each of which is followed by an opportunity for the audience to interact with the players and to ask questions about each mental health issue that has been presented.
The content of a Mental Health Players’ performance is determined by the needs of each agency or group. The focus might involve two of the following mental health issues: bullying (including workplace harassment), depression (at various stages of life), obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, stress and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) dementia, interpersonal relationships, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
The “Players” have performed at agencies, professional conferences, partial care facilities as well as many colleges and secondary schools. Audiences consist of all ages and diverse memberships, averaging over 1500 people annually. Recent performances have included the Essex County Police Academy, Ocean County Community College, Visiting Homemakers of Bergen County, the Second Annual Conference (S-COPE) for Trinitas Medical Center and Hudson County Community College.
For more information listen to the MHANJ’s New Jersey Mental Health Players podcast interview or watch our 5 minute presentation. To learn how MHANJ can structure a presentation for your group, contact John E. Rogers, Interim Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-571-4100, ext. 104.