Atlantic Health System’s Chilton Medical Center and Atlantic Behavioral Health are hosting the Festival of Hope – a free community-focused event on Saturday, September 15 from 9:00AM to 1:00PM on the hospital’s campus (97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains). The event is designed to promote education about mental health awareness, depression and suicide prevention.
Funded by the Reiser Family Foundation, the Festival of Hope is part of Atlantic Health System’s “No More Whispers” campaign, which is focused on encouraging people to talk openly about mental health issues, which affect one in six U.S. adult lives, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
“At Chilton Medical Center, we’ve hosted a variety of community focused events and activities in the past few months to support the No More Whispers campaign,” said Stephanie Schwartz, President, Chilton Medical Center. “The Festival of Hope is a culmination of these efforts and will enhance awareness as well as educate influencers throughout our community about the importance of access to mental health care.”
Special guest speaker, Kevin Hines, who survived a suicide attempt from the Golden Gate Bridge, will share his unique firsthand perspective on the subject of suicide prevention, as well as foster hope and understanding between those caught in the throes of despair and their loved ones.
The festival will also feature a variety of activities and information including:
- Displays and educational materials from Attitudes in Reverse®, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health Association and other partners;
- Butterfly Release to honor friends and family members who were lost too soon;
- In Their ShoesTM Exhibit which will consist of 269 pairs of shoes to represent New Jersey youth, ages 10 through 24, who lost all hope and ended their lives in years between 2013-2015;
- Pet therapy dogs and;
- Special performance by members of the band, Vanilla Fudge (12:00PM – 1:00PM)
“The stigma surrounding mental health has gone on for far too long and many people don’t want to admit they are struggling as they are often embarrassed or ashamed,” said Lori Ann Rizzuto, LCSW, Director of Atlantic Behavioral Health. “Our message is clear: We all need to address this challenge together by encouraging those in need to ask for help.”
For more information or to register for the event, please visit AtlanticHealth.cvent.com/FestivalOfHope.