The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders has voted to change the name of the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to the Division of Behavioral Health in an effort to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley, who spearheaded the name change, thanked the freeholders for their support in addressing one of the biggest hurdles anyone who suffers from mental illness is overcoming, which is the stigma attached to it, according to a press release from the county.
“Combining the offices of mental health and addiction services is another first in the state for Monmouth County and it is a great step toward becoming stigma free,” Kiley said. “This helps us to be able to provide better services to the two populations, mental health and addiction, which really are not two separate populations, but one woven together. So I am thrilled this is the direction we are taking.”
The resolution to change the name of the division was passed at the freeholders’ regular public meeting held on Feb. 13, according to the press release.
“Here in Monmouth County, we pride ourselves on taking action when we say we are going to do something,” Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “We said we were going to do our part to end the stigma around mental health and better serve our residents, and that is exactly what we are doing by renaming this division and through the creation of Monmouth ACTS.”
“Monmouth ACTS is another example of something being done in Monmouth County that is not being done anywhere else and is a first of its kind,” Kiley said. “I am very proud to be a part of this county and to work alongside so many people who are devoted to making a positive impact on our communities.”
Monmouth ACTS (Assisting Community Through Services) was created by the freeholders in 2018 to carry out recommendations of a Human Services Needs Assessment, according to the press release.
For more information, visit www.MonmouthACTS.org