November 11, 2007

Celina Gray – 609-633-1216

Dear Governor Corzine:

On behalf of The Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma, we would like to take this opportunity to commend you for your history of support for legislative efforts to ensure mental health parity and to ask support for pending legislation. 

The Council is a diverse body that includes persons living with mental illness, family members, community members and providers who are in consensus for mental health parity.

The human and financial cost of untreated mental illness is staggering.  As you know, the creation and subsequent success of Federally Qualified Health Centers has provided a paradigm for access to affordable, quality community health care, and has proven to be sound both financially and fundamentally.  Mental health parity offers the same opportunity at a time when New Jersey is striving to provide culturally competent services that support wellness and recovery.

Senate passage of the Mental Health Parity Act illustrates the impact of a long-awaited partnership between the health care community, business leaders and the insurance industry.  This kind of partnership makes sense, right here in New Jersey, offering an opportunity for historic precedence.  

Bringing mental health parity to New Jersey will also positively impact efforts to appropriately support our war veterans during this time of national and global unrest.  

It is paramount that those living with mental illness have access to affordable, quality care.  In order to provide this care, we need your continued commitment to mental health parity through support of the pending A2512 legislation. 

The Council applauds your legacy of advocacy for mental health parity clearly exemplified in co-sponsorship of legislation such as the Senator Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act of 2003.  Your support of A2512 will build on that legacy.  The Council pledges unflinching support for your efforts and an ongoing commitment to individuals living with mental illness through respect, understanding and change.

Thank you for your consideration and for leading our state with integrity and conviction.

Very truly yours,


Elsa Candelario

 Sylvia Axelrod 
Vice Chairperson 

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