Common Signs of Mental Illness

Sources: MentalHealthAmerica.Net; National Alliance On Mental Illness (

Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Inability to handle everyday problems and stress

Symptoms in children may include:

  • Changes in school performance or avoiding school
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Frequent disobedience, aggression, or temper tantrums

Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Reach out to your health insurance, primary care doctor or state/country mental health authority for more resources. Contact the NAMI HelpLine 800-950-NAMI (6264) to find out what services and supports are available in your community.

If you or someone you know needs helps now, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911.

Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.

Join Mental Health America as we challenge ourselves each day this May to make small changes – both physically and mentally – to create gains for our overall health and well being. Go to #4Mind4Body to find out more!

Mental Health America New Jersey Branches
MHA in New Jersey
MHA of Atlantic County
MHA of Ocean County
MHA of Southwestern New Jersey
MHA of Passaic County
MHA of New Jersey – Hudson and Union
MHA of Essex and Morris (CBS Affiliate)
MHA of Monmouth County (CBS Affiliate)

Asthma Awareness ( #TackleAsthma · Asthma Info · Allergy Types · N.J. Support Groups · Donate

Source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Asthma affects almost 25 million Americans. It is a chronic disease that causes your airways to become inflamed, making it hard to breathe.

Asthma symptoms can appear when you are exposed to a trigger. A trigger is something you are sensitive to that makes your airways become inflamed. This causes swelling, mucous production and narrowing in your airways. Common asthma triggers are pollen, chemicals, extreme weather changes, smoke, dust mites, stress and exercise. Common symptoms are coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness.

Each day, ten Americans die from asthma. Many of these deaths are avoidable with proper treatment and care.

It is important to know the signs of an asthma attack. Seek medical help immediately for:
– Fast breathing with chest retractions (skin sucks in between or around the chest plate and/or rib bones when inhaling)
– Very pale or blue coloring in the face, lips, fingernails
– Rapid movement of nostrils
– Ribs or stomach moving in and out deeply and rapidly
– Expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
– Infants with asthma who fail to respond to or recognize parents

There is no cure for asthma. The best way to manage asthma is to avoid triggers, take medications to prevent symptoms and prepare to treat asthma episodes if they occur.

Allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases. A chronic disease lasts a long time or occurs often. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it.

The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens. When someone has allergies, their immune system makes an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies respond to allergens. The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction.

Sources: Montclair Dental Spa;

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Holistic dentistry services include Safe Mercury Removal, Ozone Therapy, and Metal- and Mercury-Free Materials.

Source: The Monmouth Journal

More than two dozen individuals, groups and organizations were honored at the annual Volunteer Appreciation gala hosted by the Recreation Department of the Care One at King James Care Center.

Recreation Director Cathy Kane said of each of the honorees, “Your dedication to our residents is nothing short of remarkable. The residents are blessed to have so many that share the interaction we all need with members of our community. Thank you for making time for the residents of this facility, your talents, your friendship and most of all for caring enough to give of yourselves.”

Administrator Mark Serrano praised all the volunteers, noting how vital their talents and time are to complete the homelike atmosphere of the care center and to add to the amount of activities and entertainment the recreation department always provides.

Honored as groups who participate on a regular basis bringing entertainment and events to the residents were the Vince Lombardi Council of the Knights of Columbus, the longest serving volunteer group at Care One, providing barbecues annually, along with other parties, food and flowers; a trio of Visiting Ladies, Marylin Cosby, Daisy Davis, Georgette Thomas, Robyn Keys and Norma Smith; the Highlands Community Singers, the Wednesday Night Bible Story Readers Corrine Beers, Geno Pipitone, Zach Lujan and Evelyn Thomas; St. Our Lady of Perpetual Help/St. Agnes parish, Faith Fellowship Church, Kelly Dance Loft, and the Rumson Far Haven Public School system.

Individuals honored for their volunteerism included the Craig Bahrs Family, Michael St. Amour, who frequently visits the center as a stilted tall man in a variety of themed costumes for every holiday; Emily Fitzpatrick and Megan Conlon who visit the residents and say the Rosary with them on a regular basis, Pat Fowler, who conducts regular bingo games, Virginia Ligot who offers help in myriad of ways wherever needed; Bob Prochnik, who shows up simply to make residents laugh and enjoy company and Jay Cohen and Dom and Lyn Zarilllo who come from Ocean County to volunteer with Jay’s wife, Karen, and her recreational programs.

Also honored were staff members Kitty Wheeler and Karen Cohen who had just been named NJ Activity Professionals of the Year by the NJAP Association.

The recreation director also honored the four-legged visitors who come with their owners to interact with residents. Jacki was accompanied by Paul and Donna Worth and Bennie, known as the Gentle Giant, by Robert Micieli.

“We’re grateful for all our volunteers and can always use more,” Kane said, noting “volunteers are always needed at night when activity staff is not here for most units. Many residents enjoy an activity or entertainment after dinner or simply conversation. Persons interested in volunteering can contact Cathy Kane at 732-291-3400.

Source: Advertiser News North

A number of pharmacies in the Sussex County area are reporting having difficulty getting EpiPen, devices that deliver the life-saving drug that severe allergy sufferers depend on in the event of a potentially fatal emergency.

According to a survey of 36 pharmacies in Northern New Jersey, 16 pharmacies said they had some version of the EpiPen, whether it be the brand name or generic, in stock, while 14 pharmacies said they did not have any EpiPen at the moment. Six pharmacies did not respond.

At West Milford Pharmacy & Gift on Union Valley Road, Pharmacist Danny Gutkind said that the wholesale distributor they use only carries a few EpiPens at a time, so they usually order every day — “sometimes they have it, and sometimes they don’t.”

“What they’re basically doing is allocating, meaning they only have a certain amount at a time, I don’t know why, but there seems to be, unfortunately, a limited supply,” Gutkind adds. “If they’re having issues, it’s probably safe to assume that since they’re one of the big ones, that it’s a universal issue.”

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has determined there is a national shortage of epinephrine auto-injectors from two major manufacturers: Mylan Pharmaceuticals, which makes EpiPen, EpiPen Jr., and authorized generic versions of both, and Impax Therapeutics, which makes an authorized generic version of Adrenaclick.

Despite these claims, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that Mylan has continued to report adequate supply of EpiPens in the U.S., and has not added EpiPen devices on its list of medical shortages.

Pfizer, which owns Mylan, also released a statement saying, “We are currently shipping product; however, supplies may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. We understand how important this potentially life-saving product is to patients, and we are working closely with Mylan to monitor supply levels so patients have access to epinephrine auto injector products.”

However, Pharmacist Crystal Clark of the Weis Markets Pharmacy in Newton says that both the EpiPen brand name drug and the generic were both on backorder and listed as having “delays in production.” Clark adds, “It could be (due to its being) allergy season — we see an influx of EpiPen prescriptions for bees and other severe allergies.”

All three pharmacies in Sparta had EpiPen or the generics in stock, as well as pharmacies in Franklin, Sussex, Oak Ridge and Stanhope. Some pharmacies reported having only EpiPen Jr. available, which is a lower dose for young children.

The few alternative options to EpiPen include Adrenaclick and it’s generic version, which are available at CVS pharmacies for about $100, as well as Auvi-Q, an often times much more expensive option costing several thousand dollars. But these options will not help patients trying to fill prescriptions for EpiPen. “It all depends on how the doctor writes the prescription,” Clark says.

Source: Jersey City Reporter

Not all the Lincoln High School students who attended the opening of the mentoring program at Christ Hospital want to be a doctor or a nurse. But tenth grader Denise White does.

“I really want to become a nurse,” she said. “And I think this is a good way to get exposure.”

White is one of 10 Lincoln High School students who will meet at the hospital on Thursday afternoons for the next several weeks. During the weekly seminars, the students will learn about areas of health care such as infection control, surgical services, environmental services, emergency services and general patient experience.

The students will also be able to participate in the Junior Volunteer program and will receive community service credit. The program will open up opportunities for these teens and they can apply for scholarships and letters of recommendations based on their experience in the program, plus develop professional contacts and nurture future career paths.

Marie Duffy, chief hospital executive for Christ Hospital, said the program offered by CarePoint will provide students with a work place introduction into healthcare and possibly serve as a vehicle for them to enter the healthcare profession as a career.

“We came together and decided we wanted to do some kind of mentoring program for young ladies,” Cimmino said. “Our vision was to expose the volunteers to health care careers, educate some of them in order to become junior volunteers at the end of their workshop. There are plenty of opportunities in many different areas.”

This will include patient access, laboratory, nursing, security, and other operations at the hospital. “Our goal is for a four to six week program,” She said. “The kids would come to Christ Hospital every Thursday for two hours, meet with the staff, and then have an expert to speak to them.”

The students would then go to different patient care areas to be exposed to the environment, then come back and ask questions, and see if anything interests them so that they might continue on at the commencement of the program as junior volunteers.

“That opens many doors, providing the students with experience that would be valuable if they decide later to pursue a medical career,” Denise Cimmino of Christ Hospital’s Department of Patient Care said.

Arthur Williams, director of Jersey City Department of Recreation, said Jersey City public schools hold a national award for mentoring. “The late mayor Glenn Cunningham supported that program,” he said. “Mentoring is having that connection with friends that will open doors for kids.”

“One of the greatest gifts you can have is a mentor because they are your own personal cheerleader,” Cunningham once said. “A mentor is there to encourage you, to be with you, to do things with you, to listen to you, and to help guide you, but never to tell you what to do.”