Chinese delegation in Cape May

Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton, left, and Cape May Mayor Clarence Lear welcome a Chinese official who visited the area to learn about tourism and marketing Friday as part of a four-month mission to the United States.

Freeholders in Cape May and Atlantic counties have recognized May 2020 as Mental Health Awareness Month by way of resolution.

These resolutions were sponsored and supported by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Atlantic and Cape May counties. NAMI, a national organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by mental illness. In light of the economic and emotional fallout from the new coronavirus, this action, in part, recognizes the fear, anxiety and stress which has been experienced by so many residents as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic and isolation. The occurrence of addiction and mental health disorders have all seen an increase in frequency over the past several months.

Research tells us that mental illness disorders affect one in five families. Over 5 million people in the United States suffer from a serious brain illness such as schizophrenia, severe anxiety and depression, or bipolar disorders, including co-occurring and dual-diagnosis disorders. More than 20 million experience addiction disorders, including co-occurring and dual-diagnosis disorders. But these conditions are treatable. The treatment success rate for schizophrenia is 60%. Proper treatment can and will reduce incarcerations, domestic violence, loss of employment and homelessness. Increasing our awareness of these disorders with corresponding treatment raises the quality of life for countless millions of American families.

These resolutions help us all to raise our awareness of mental health issues and support those families affected by these illnesses. NAMI, the national organization, and NAMI Atlantic/Cape May, provide free programs of support, education and advocacy for families and those affected by mental illness for all residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties who seek assistance.

You can obtain further information from the following resources. Contact Gail Dembin at 609-927-0215 or 1557nami@comcast.net, or Abbie Katz at 215-327-7940 or namiacmaek.gmail.com, or see namiac.org. Additional information for resources can be found at the Mental Health Association of New Jersey COVID-19 multilingual helpline. Call 866-202-HELP (4357). Resolutions have been posted at namiac.org.

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