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Resolution Declaring Hillsborough Township a Stigma Free Municipality

WHEREAS, the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, along with the Somerset County Department of Human Services, supports the designation of Stigma-Free Communities in every municipality; and

WHEREAS, at their September 26, 2017 meeting, the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously passed a resolution supporting the designation of Somerset County as a Stigma-Free Community; and

WHEREAS, Somerset County recognizes that one in five Americans has experienced mental health and substance use disorders, in a given year according to the National Institute of Mental Health; and

WHEREAS, mental health problems are more common than cancer and heart disease combined, affecting children and adults, including more than half of our Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans treated at Veteran's Administration hospitals; and

WHEREAS, given the serious nature of this public health problem, we must continue to reach the millions who need help; and

WHEREAS, the stigma associated with these conditions is identified as the primary reason individuals fail to seek the help they need to recover from the disease; and

WHEREAS, Stigma-Free Communities aim to inspire public interest and open dialogues about stigma, raise awareness of mental health and substance use disorders and create a culture wherein residents feel supported by their community and neighbors and feel free to seek treatment for the disease without fear of stigma; and

WHEREAS, promoting awareness that there can be no “health” without mental health will break down barriers and encourage residents of all ages to be mindful of their mental health and ask for help when needed; and

WHEREAS, local resources are available to treat mental health and substance use so no one resident needs to suffer alone or feel hopeless; and

WHEREAS, establishing Stigma-Free Communities will raise awareness of resources and encourage residents to engage in care as soon as the need is identified so recovery can begin, hope is inspired and tragedies are avoided.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Hillsborough, County of Somerset, State of New Jersey, that the Hillsborough Township Committee designates Hillsborough Township a Stigma-Free Community and also recognizes the needs of our community and further supports the efforts of the County of Somerset.

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