Day by day, the conversation surrounding mental health continues to open up. It's very encouraging. However, the dialogue needs to continue.

I sit on the board for Ocean Mental Health Services. I have not been shy about sharing my struggles with mental health with you. I joined the board not as a work obligation, but as a way to pay it forward in an area that has affected me. So many suffer in silence. While the topic of mental health is not always easy to get into, we have to.  Many are unaware that Ocean Mental Health Services is a non-profit organization.

OMHS provides free resources for those in Ocean County that are dealing with mental health struggles. Their programs are broad with access to crisis services, outpatient services, substance abuse services, and supportive and primary care programs.

Another part of Ocean Mental Health Services is Ocean Academy. OA is a small, therapeutic school that offers educational services to students that need a more structured, nurturing environment to reach their academic and social goals. As part of Ocean Mental Health Services, they work collaboratively with students, their families, and school districts to provide support and services. The difference maker for Ocean Academy is its therapeutic component, which offers the student and their family psychiatric and therapeutic services and support from their clinical team. I've visited the school many times, and the kids are thriving.

The OceanCares Foundation is actively seeking financial donations to continue and expand programs. To kick off Mental Health Awareness Month, we held the very first Ocean Cornhole Tournament at the Brick PAL. 32 teams of two battled it out. The turnout was awesome.

JP Mulhearn Photography

On Thursday, August 15th from 6 pm-10 pm it's our annual Clam Bake for a Cause at Crystal Point Yacht Club in Pt. Pleasant. There will be:

Clam Bake Buffet & BBQ
Open Bar
Live Music
Silent Auction
50/50 - Cash Prize
Evening Program

Tickets are $75 per person and are available, here.

Ocean Mental Health Services is always looking for volunteers. Learn more about opportunities, here.

If you are reading this and are suffering from a mental health condition, please know that you are not alone and that there is help available to you. Don't fight this alone. I want you here and well. Contact Ocean Mental Health Services by going to their website. 

If you are having a mental health emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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