Stigma Free

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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 


"Spreading Awareness on Substance Use Disorder and Offering Recovery Resources"

Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 7:00 pm

Rotary District 7475 is hosting this Community Connective Initiative via Zoom, and will feature Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, along with Ileen Bradley, Executive Direct of Damon House. While the event is free, pre-registration is required at:

Stigma Free Materials

2019 "Expressions of Hope" Art Show

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