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Thursday, May 17, 2007 - Recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health services, which include so much more than clinical treatment, are highly effective in enabling children and adults to manage mental, behavioral and/or substance abuse disorders. As a result, adults become able to enter or rejoin the workforce, pursue higher education, rebuild their families and friendships and succeed as independent, productive individuals.

In our region, South Jersey Healthcare offers services that help make these achievements and rewarding lives possible. In addition, children and youth with serious mental health needs who are treated “spend less time in inpatient care, experience fewer arrests, make improvements in their overall mental health and do better in school,” according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and May 6-12 is also recognized as National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week.

“Mental Health Awareness Month is an ideal time to highlight the services available in our community and the profound impact they have on the children and adults we serve,” said Patrick Smith, administrator of SJH Mental Health Services.

SJH provides comprehensive inpatient care, partial care (intensive outpatient therapy and treatment) and outpatient counseling for adults, adolescents and children at the SJH Bridgeton Health Center, at 333 Irving Avenue and at SJH Elmer Hospital.

Last year, the health system also opened a new Child/Adolescent Intermediate Care Mental Health Unit in Bridgeton. With the opening of the 12-bed unit that serves children and teens from the state’s nine southern-most counties, SJH provides a continuum of care that is unmatched in southern New Jersey.

“For some children and adolescents it takes longer to respond to medication and therapy,” said Smith. “The intermediate care unit will give our doctors and staff the needed time to help many of these children return to their families.”

For more information about Mental Health Services at South Jersey Healthcare, please call (856) 575-4190.

South Jersey Healthcare (SJH) is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of healthcare services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and healthcare needs of Southern New Jersey residents