Freehold Township officials designate town as stigma-free community

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FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Members of the Township Committee have passed a resolution which designates Freehold Township as a stigma-free community.

According to the resolution, a stigma-free community seeks to inspire public interest and to open dialogue about stigma, raise awareness of the disease of mental illness and substance use disorders, and create a culture where residents who have mental illness and/or substance use disorders feel supported by their community and feel free to seek treatment without fear of stigma.

The Township Committee’s resolution states that establishing stigma-free communities will raise awareness of resources, have inclusive language and encourage residents to engage in care so recovery can begin and tragedies are avoided.

The action taken by Freehold Township’s elected representatives followed action taken in September by the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, which in collaboration with the Division of Behavioral Health announced the launch of the Stigma-Free Monmouth website (https://www.stigmafree-monmouth.org/)

The Monmouth County Stigma-Free Action Committee’s initiative was developed to help spread the message for those who suffer from behavioral health illnesses and substance use disorders, according to a press release from the county.

The Monmouth County Stigma-Free Action Committee believes every individual deserves to be treated with respect and that everyone should be able to get help without fear, according to the press release.

In other recent action in Freehold Township, committee members authorized final payments to Thor Construction Group, LLC, for improvements at Michael J. Tighe Park, Sandy Brook Park and Whittier Oaks Park in the amount of $289,705. The contract for the work was awarded to Thor Construction Group in 2019.

The resolution authorized a $5,676 increase to the initial $284,029 contract, which brought the final payment to $289,705. Officials said the change was made because of an increase in contract quantities due to unforeseen conditions, resulting in unanticipated repairs.

And, committee members renewed Freehold Township’s commitment to the Green Team, which was created in 2009 to help educate the community about environmental sustainable activities and to develop an initiative supporting sustainable local government practices.

Finally, officials announced that Mayor Lester A. Preston Jr., Deputy Mayor Thomas L. Cook and Township Committee members Anthony J. Ammiano, Maureen Fasano and Alan C. Walker will host a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the All Wars Memorial at the municipal plaza, corner of Schanck and Stillwells Corner roads.

All are welcome to attend the ceremony in support of veterans. Face masks or coverings will be required of the public during the ongoing coronavirus health crisis, according to municipal officials