Press Release

New Jersey Governor's Council on Mental Health Stigma

       June 10, 2009
Celina Gray (609) 477-8969

Council urges soldiers to tend to psychological wounds Campaign helps veterans battle stigma; trains special counselors In recognition of today’s parade welcoming nearly 3,000 troops home from war, Celina Gray, Executive Director of the Governor’s Council on Mental health Stigma provided the following statement:

“Today is absolutely a day to honor and celebrate the heroism of these men and women. They have exhibited great courage in the midst of often horrific experiences and sacrificed the comforts of home and loved ones to serve our country.”

“But days or weeks from now, when the fanfare is over and trumpeting is silenced, these brave soldiers may begin to feel the effects of months and/or years of pent-up tension. As they begin to assimilate back into the daily routine of life without war, there is potential for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to surface. It is important for families to be aware and be prepared.”

“With the support of Governor Corzine, we recently launched an initiative, “Life Doesn’t Have to Be a Battlefield…Don’t Let Stigma Stand in Your Way,” an outreach campaign aimed at veterans who might suffer from PTSD and other mental illnesses.”

“Veterans’ psychological wounds often linger long after their physical ones have healed, but we know that, with proper treatment, they can pull through. By reducing stigma and providing focused and specialized counseling, we make it easier for our veterans and their families to get help for the mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders that often plague them when they return home.”

“If families, friends or co-workers notice changes in the behavior, including irritability, depression, difficulty sleeping or startled reactions to common environmental noises, do not hesitate to call 1-866-VETS-NJ-4-U (1-866-838-7654). Now that they’re home, we owe each veteran our protection.”


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Veteran's Campaign Launch

Launch of “Life Doesn't Have to Be a Battlefield Campaign”
from L-R:   DHS Deputy Commissioner Kevin Martone, Governor's Council on Mental Health Stigma Executive Director Celina Gray, Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau Director John Dorrity and Sgt. Joseph Nyzio