Despite the cool and rainy weather, 200 people participated in the 11th Annual Walk for Wellness and Recovery in beautiful Nomahegan Park on Springfield Avenue in Cranford. Participants found the Walk to be a great event with a lot of positive energy!
“Our Walk calls attention to the importance of emotional wellness and coping with substance use disorders as well as fighting the stigma related to these issues. People who face behavioral health challenges often have difficulties establishing the stability of permanent housing,” said Carolyn Beauchamp, President and CEO, Mental Health Association in New Jersey. “An important component of the MHANJ’s advocacy initiatives and program goals is to help assure that people have fair and adequate access to appropriate shelter, which, in turn, contributes to mental health and stability. With such a close connection between behavioral health and housing, Monarch Housing is a natural partner for us.”
Monarch Housing Associates is proud to partner with MHANJ in the Walk for Wellness and Recovery. “Now is the time to be aware of the pressing needs of people with mental illness and people who are homeless and partner with them on their paths to recovery and wellness,” said Richard W. Brown, CEO, Monarch Housing Associates. “For most of the developments Monarch Housing works on, the demand for affordable housing is anywhere from five to 10 people applying for every available unit. Unfortunately, the demand for affordable housing always exceeds the number of available units.”
Individuals in recovery often remind us that wellness is possible. Michelle Price from Ocean County, now the Assistant Director of Recovery Services for MHANJ in Ocean County, has made great strides in her own recovery. “You name it, addiction took it from me. The moment I knew I needed to get clean was in 2013, I found out I was pregnant. The Mental Health Association in New Jersey gave me the peer support I needed and pushed me on my journey toward recovery,” she says.
The Walk makes a difference. Every year, the Walk for Wellness and Recovery brings together those who care about helping New Jerseyans cope with emotional health and substance use issues. “Peer support plays a huge role in recovery,” explains Joanne McCarthy, LMHC, LPC, LCADC, Director of MHANJ’s Call Center Services. “There’s so much value to it. When someone calls they speak to a peer, they’re speaking to someone who has walked in their shoes, someone who has had the exact same experience.”
Monarch Housing Associates thanks its generous sponsors for supporting the Walk for Wellness and Recovery:
Activities at the Walk included children’s’ activities, warm-up stretches and exercises, community resource and wellness tables, complimentary refreshments and snacks before and after the Walk and community resource information.