The New Jersey Council of County Colleges will be honored at the Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s 22nd Evening of Excellence.
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) is thrilled to announce that the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) will be an honoree at its 22nd Evening of Excellence, scheduled for November 9th at The Park Savoy Estate in Florham Park.
The NJCCC is being recognized for developing new initiatives to support New Jersey’s community colleges in meeting the mental health needs of students. The NJCCC works to strengthen and support the state’s 18 community colleges that serve more than 200,000 students each year across the state. New Jersey’s community colleges, through NJCCC’s Vision 2028: A Framework for the Future of New Jersey’s Community Colleges, identified the mental health needs of students as a priority area of action.
NJCCC partnered with MHANJ to launch The Every Mind Matters Project: Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Community College Students to support community colleges’ efforts to meet the mental health needs of students. The Project, funded by New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, the Community Foundation of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Health, was led by Jacob Farbman, Ed.D, APR, who is also being honored by the MHANJ.
“The two-plus years of the pandemic have further exacerbated the mental health challenges faced by all New Jerseyans,” said NJCCC President Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D. “It is critically important that we work collectively to ensure our Community College students receive the mental health supports they need to succeed in their studies and complete their post-secondary credentials so they can obtain jobs and careers that provide economic mobility and contribute to the state’s post-pandemic recovery.”
The Every Mind Matters Project is a statewide, holistic approach to supporting Community Colleges in meeting the mental health needs of students. It includes evidence-based Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Question Persuade Refer (QPR) suicide prevention gatekeeper training for faculty, staff, and students. It also provides instructor training for mental health champions in MHFA and QPR to create long-term, sustainable awareness and education programs; mental health safety trainings for community college counselors; the creation of mental health and basic needs resource folders and other materials for faculty and staff to have resources at their fingertips and campus-based events to reduce stigma and increase awareness of services available to students in need.
Through this Project, the MHANJ provided both QPR and MHFA training to cohorts from county colleges across the state, issuing more than 900 certifications since it began. Further, two faculty members and/or staff from each participating school have been identified to be trained as instructors. Dr. Fichtner refers to these positive outcomes as ”the beginning of what will be a collective effort to make sure all community college students have the support they need.” The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is dedicated to enhancing the ability of community colleges to meet the mental health needs of their students and is committed to continue these important initiatives to improve mental health and wellness on every campus.
The Covid-19 pandemic took an especially heavy toll on the students in our county colleges. Its student population is made up of communities of color, young people, older students returning to college, recent immigrants, and veterans – many members of these communities have been heavily impacted by stress, anxiety, depression, and substance use.
“The Mental Health Association in New Jersey has been fortunate to develop a partnership with the New Jersey Council of County Colleges and we applaud their efforts to identify and address the mental health needs of students. The MHANJ brings expertise in providing behavioral health training, support groups, and peer-to-peer services to this project. Our goal is to help create a strong network of Community College counseling programs, services and support for students,” said Carolyn Beauchamp, MHANJ President and CEO.
The next steps in the partnership with NJCCC include a “train the trainer” program developed by MHANJ, which paves the way for mental health resources and trained community leaders to be in place on each campus. Dr. Fichtner said, “we hope to continue and grow this partnership with MHANJ to continue to address the mental health needs of community college students.”
About the Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s Evening of Excellence
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey is grateful to its corporate sponsors of the 22nd Evening of Excellence, including: Trinitas Regional Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Health at the Platinum Level; Investors Bank, a Division of Citizens Bank, N.A., and MinuteClinic, located in select CVS Pharmacy stores, at the Gold Level; Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic, Janssen Neuroscience Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, United Healthcare, Janine and Dan Kane and Gia and Patrick O’Keefe at the Silver Level; and Delta Dental, Lexpath, Mike WorldWide and Steven E. Geltzeiler at the Bronze Level.
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey is a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to strive for children and adults to achieve victory over mental illness and substance use disorders through advocacy, education, training and services. Its state headquarters is in Union County; it has additional locations in Atlantic, Hudson and Ocean Counties, and affiliates in Essex, Monmouth, Morris, and Passaic Counties. For more information visit https://www.mhanj.org/.
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s state headquarters is in Union County; it has additional locations in Atlantic, Hudson and Ocean Counties, and affiliates in Essex, Monmouth, Morris, and Passaic Counties.
Please click here to purchase a ticket to the MHANJ’s 22nd Evening of Excellence, explore sponsorship or place a congratulatory ad in the electronic ad journal.
Click here to visit our website for more information about the MHANJ. If you have any questions, please call us at 973-571-4100, ext. 123.