Stigma Free

stigma free
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The Montville Township Stigma-Free Taskforce was formed by the Montville Health Department in 2017, and is part of a county-wide effort to eradicate the stigma associated with mentalillness and substance use disorders, thus promoting wellness and recovery in our community. The goals of the Montville Stigma-Free Taskforce are to: 

  • Raise awareness of:
    • what stigma is, and how it is too often associated with mental illness disorders and substance use disorders
    • the importance of reducing stigma and thus encourage those afflicted to seek treatment, recovery, and wellness
    • the many local resources available to those afflicted
  • Encourage all to 
    • recognize and reduce stigma associated with mental health disorders
    • be supportive of those afflicted, and encourage them to seek assistance when needed
    • seek help themselves when needed
  • Foster a supportive, stigma-free environment where those afflicated feel encouraged to acknowledge disorders and seek help

 What is stigma? 

Stigma is a mark of disgrace which results from judgment by others, and can cause feelings of shame, distress, and hopelessness. The fear of being stigmatized can cause a reluctance to acknowledge a disorder, and/or a reluctance to seek or accept help. 

Why is it important for us to reduce stigma? 

Too often, individuals do not acknowledge a disorder and subsequently do not seek or accept help for it due to stigma. Fear of judgment and alienation from friends, family and co-workers; fear of loss of employment, marital status, or access to visitation rights to children; fear of being viewed in a negative light once a problem is acknowledged - all of these fears are caused by stigma and are barriers to seeking wellness and recovery.

What can we do to help reduce/eliminate stigma? 

  • Don’t use disrespectful terms to describe people with mental illness or substance use disorders
  • Don't blame people with mental illness or substance use disorders for their afflictions
  • Don't be afraid of people with mental illness or substance use disorders
  • Be a role model - always treat those afflicted with respect, encourage others around you to do the same
  • Declare your home or business to be Stigma-Free Zone by displaying decals and ribbons
  • Make your public event Stigma-Free by including the Stigma-Free logo on your materials and distributing Stigma-Free informational materials and promotional items. Send a copy of your flyer with the Stigma-Free logo to and your event will be promoted on the Montville Stigma-Free social media sites
  • Volunteer at one of the many Stigma-Free events held here in Montville. Please see our calendar of events, or contact us at 

2019 "Expressions of Hope" Art Show - 10/19/19

Free Movie Event - "Suicide: The Ripple Effect"  - 09/22/19

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and in honor of this, the Montville Stigma-Free Taskforce is partnering with Atlantic Health at Chilton to sponsor a free movie event featuring “Suicide: The Ripple Effect”, in which Kevin Hines, who at age 19 attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, chronicles the impact of his suicide attempt on others and his work as a mental health advocate since that time. The movie will be presented at the Montville Senior House on Sunday, September 22, 2019, from 6-8pm. After the movie, there will be a Q/A session with mental health professionals from Atlantic Health. We hope to see you there.

"Expressions of Hope" Art Show - 10/19/19

This free community event to raise awareness, encourage hope, and reduce the stigma
associated with mental health disorders and substance use disorders will feature works on these themes by a variety of local artists. This year's showcase artist is Tara O'Leary, an award-winning NJ artist, whose newest series is inspired by the healing power and experience of Reiki. Our event will also feature short skits by the Morris/Essex Mental Health Players, the Attitudes in Reverse "In Their Shoes" exhibit, and music by DJ's from Pathways for Exceptional Children. This year's event will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 2pm-6pm at the Senior House at 356 Main Road in Montville. Please join us!


Stigma Free Materials