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Stigma Council Youth Roundtable

May 22 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm


New Jersey Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma Roundtable

Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis: Fostering Understanding and Partnerships to Further Support the Younger Generations

Date: May 22, 2024


1. Welcome Remarks – Debra L. Wentz, PhD, Chair, New Jersey Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma; President and CEO, New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies; Executive Director, New Jersey Mental Health Institute 10:00 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.

2. Opening Remarks – The Honorable Christine Norbut Beyer, MSW, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJ DCF) 10:05 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

3. Keynote Presentation: Why There Is an Ongoing Mental Health Crisis among Children and Youth – Shavonda Sumter, President and CEO, Children’s Aid and Family Services and Member, New Jersey General Assembly and New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus Chair 10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

4. Panel Discussion – Telling it Like it Is: Youth with Lived Experience 10:30 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.

§ Introduction: The Power of the Youth Voice – Susan Tellone, RN, BSN, MSN, CSN, Clinical Director, Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (SPTS) and Member, New Jersey Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma

§ Moderator – Nicholas Spanola, MS, LPC, NCC, Program Director, School Based Youth Services Program, Brick Township High School

§ Panelists:

– Tawanna Brown, NJ DCF Youth Council Alumna and Former Council Coach

– Member of SPTS’ Youth Council

– Participant in Oaks Integrated Care’s Youth in New Jersey Program

5. Panel Discussion – Family, Faith-based and Community Resources that Help

11:10 a.m. to 11:55 a.m.

– Moderator: Mark T. Williams, BSN, RN-BC, Chair, Somerset County Stigma-Free Committee

– Tricia Baker, Co-founder, Attitudes In Reverse®

– Juanita Lopez, Family Member

– Derek Malenczak, PhD, LCADC, CPRP, Lecturer, Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Counseling Professions and Co-chair of the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences’ JED Campus Implementation Committee

– Michelle H. Pigott, PsyD, Training & Consultation Specialist, Children’s Center for Resilience & Trauma Recovery, Behavioral Research and Training Institute, Rutgers Health – University Behavioral Health Care

6. Closing Remarks – Debra L. Wentz, PhD 11:55 a.m. to noon


May 22
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
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