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Proper Mental-Health Care Can Prevent Tragedies

Recent reports and news coverage of school shootings, celebrity suicides, and other famous people sharing their diagnoses or struggles with mental illness have sparked a greater need for mental-health awareness. Christian Health (CHCC), which offers a full continuum of mental-health services in Wyckoff, NJ, recognizes this important need and has been a pioneering advocate for mental health for over a century.

“Mental disorders do not discriminate. They transcend all ethnicities and income levels. Your neighbor is just as at risk as well-known individuals like Kate Spade, Robin Williams, and Prince Harry,” says Rebecca Dauerman, APN, Vice President/Administrator of CHCC’s Mental Health Services and the Chair of the Wyckoff Stigma-Free Task Force. “Inquiries for our mental health services increase with every relevant news story. In fact, shortly after news broke about the death of Robin Williams in 2014, we experienced a significant increase in inquiries from our community seeking help to address various mental health challenges and needs.”

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing suicidal thoughts, get help immediately. Go to your local hospital emergency room, call the psychiatric emergency hotline for your county, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255), or call 911.

Reports indicated that Kate Spade, who died by apparent suicide, suffered from bipolar disorder, which along with major depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety, is among the leading causes of disability in the United States. With early diagnosis, and proper treatment and support, a significant percentage of individuals can experience substantial reduction in symptoms and an improved quality of life.

“I thought about killing myself. My anxiety was high. I wasn’t eating, and I was barely sleeping. Within a month, I stopped doing things that interested me and had constant thoughts of killing myself and the different ways that I could do it. When I started to severely lack sleep and hallucinate, I was terrified,” says Monica Morgan, a New Jersey college student. “I began treatment at LiveWell Counseling (CHCCC). When I was properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I felt relieved, liberated, and horrified. For so long I looked at myself as inadequate and disconnected, but now I understand that these were parts of my bipolar disorder.”

Says Bart Mongiello, LCSW, CHCCC Director, “Early diagnosis results in appropriate intervention and treatment, which often can greatly reduce the severity of an illness, not only for the individual, but for his or her family and friends as well.”

Ms. Spade, according to news sources, hesitated to seek treatment for fear of negative effects on her business and her brand.

“Mental health is vital. It needs to be taken more seriously because many people are struggling, but are scared to seek help due to stigma,” Ms. Morgan says. “The stigma can make those who are battling with their disorders and illnesses feel ashamed.”

Christian Health joined forces with concerned citizens, local government, and school officials to establish Wyckoff Stigma Free. The group is part of a county-wide effort dedicated to breaking down barriers, opening minds, and creating a culture in which residents feel supported by their community and neighbors feel free to seek treatment for the disease without fear of stigma. CHCC also assisted and supported Hawthorne and Midland Park in being established as Stigma-Free zones, and is involved with Bergen County Stigma-Free.

LiveWell Counseling helps clients of all ages – from children to seniors – learn the coping skills they need to function in all areas of the community. The counseling center offers a wide range of outpatient programs, including individual and family therapy. Treatment options include psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. Medication management may also be incorporated as clinically indicated to alleviate intense symptoms which may be interfering with daily life. Faith is integrated into treatment at the request of the client.

“Christian Health is saddened by the death of Kate Spade by apparent suicide and our condolences are extended to her family, friends, and all who admired Kate’s creativity,” Ms. Dauerman says. “If you or someone you know is suffering, we can help. CHCC offers mental-health services, from outpatient counseling to a partial-hospitalization program to an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Our 107-year history and focused commitment to the mental-health of our community sets us apart in our abilities to deliver exceptionally compassionate care for children and adolescents to adults and seniors.”

Psychiatric screening centers:

  • Bergen County: (201) 262-HELP
  • Passaic County: (973) 754-2230
  • Morris County: (973) 625-0280
  • Essex County: (973) 266-4478
  • Westchester County: (914) 925-5959
  • Rockland County: (845) 364-2200

About Christian Health

CHCC provides a broad continuum of high-quality, compassionate care, offering superior senior-life, short-term rehab, and mental-health services. As a non-profit organization, we deliver Person- and Family-centered Care to our community based upon the Christian principles on which we were founded more than a century ago. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Blain Bradley | (201) 848-5267