R&J to Lead NJCMHC’s Public Education and Advocacy Initiative
We are excited to announce that our agency has recently been retained by the New Jersey Community Mental Health Coalition (NJCMHC) to conduct a statewide integrated public awareness, information and advocacy campaign in support of continuing the state’s funding for the state’s community mental health providers at current levels.
Formed in response to upcoming funding cuts for mental health services in the proposed FY18 New Jersey State Budget, the NJCMHC is spearheaded by nine New Jersey non-profit community mental health providers that have joined together to advocate for continued, comprehensive treatment and care for mentally ill adults and children throughout New Jersey. We are looking forward to providing strategic counsel as well as creating and implementing an integrated advocacy communication campaign that will utilize public relations, media relations, social media and digital elements to educate and inform policymakers, patients, and the public about the realities of a mental health crisis in New Jersey if the Governor’s proposed FY 2018 budget goes unchanged.
Mental illness touches everyone. It affects the lives of 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children. Mental health struggles affect mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, spouses, and friends, who, without regular treatment, will likely not be able to live full, productive and fulfilling lives. If passed, the proposed changes to the state’s funding formula would eliminate significant funding for non-profit community mental health providers by July 1, 2017. The proposed funding change would cut vital outpatient mental health services to tens of thousands of New Jersey’s most vulnerable citizens, particularly the poor and working poor who cannot afford to pay for these critical services on their own.
“We are eager to utilize our deep experience in public advocacy campaigns to elevate this issue in the public’s eye and inspire action to protect essential mental health services across New Jersey,” said John Lonsdorf, President of R&J Strategic Communications. “The members of the New Jersey Community Mental Health Coalition are leaders in community-based mental health services and are committed to protecting vital services that are so desperately needed in our communities throughout the state. We share the NJCMHC’s concern that patients with complex and long-term needs could no longer have access to services and care that they desperately need. We’re proud to partner with the NJCMHC on this important issue and to have the opportunity to make a difference for those suffering from mental illness in our state.”
For more information on the New Jersey Community Health Coalition, visit their Facebook Page!