We fund organizations and projects which disrupt our current behavioral health space and create impact at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.
We support local grassroots organizations that are working to advance recommendations outlined in the Think Bigger Do Good Policy Series.
Our participatory grantmaking alters the traditional process of philanthropic giving by empowering service providers and community-based organizations to define the strategy around a specific issue area or population.
We provide funds at below-market interest rates that can be particularly useful to start, grow, or sustain a program, or when results cannot be achieved with grant dollars alone.
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Contact Alyson about grantmaking, program related investments, and the paper series.
Contact Samantha about program planning and evaluation consulting services.
Contact Caitlin about the Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness, the Annual Innovation Award, and trauma-informed programming.
Contact Joe about partnership opportunities, thought leadership, and the Foundation’s property.
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A Stigma Free Zone (SFZ) is an educational initiative widely adopted in Bergen County, NJ. Any group (municipality, school) can join. Just create a task force pledging to “Do something about mental Illness”. The group picks the project. Started by NAMI Hudson, it flourished after Mary Ann Uzzi involved Paramus, NJ officials. Her mayor put up road signs, they held events and recruited others, including the County Executive. The signs caught attention. Car magnets bearing a lime green logo went on every police car. SFZ town groups held Roundtables and marched in parades. The NJ Division of Mental Health created a downloadable SFZ Toolkit with resources. Schools joined. A dance troupe represented the SFZ at Disney World. Participants won awards for fighting stigma. Churches, colleges and rotaries joined. We sponsor CIT and Mental Health First Aid training for police. We have a newsletter. Assemblyman Tim Eustace wrote NJ AR236, asking every state municipality to adopt the SFZ. The movement spread to other counties, and 47 of 70 Bergen municipalities, plus uncounted groups are now SFZ. This grassroots movement is project-based, flexible, easy to implement. It shows no signs of slowing. Bergen County is proud to be a Stigma Free Zone!
The motto of the Stigma Free Zone (SFZ) is “Anyone can educate about mental health”. This breeds originality and taps the ingenuity and resourcefulness of volunteers who create task forces and pledge to “Do something about mental illness”. No restrictions! Every SFZ has different ideas and aim to address stigma where they work, learn or live. For example,the faith community who joined SFZ produced an Interfaith Roundtable of 100 temples, mosques, churches, and organizations who wanted to learn and do more for this cause. The outcome usually becomes a ripple effect. Truly grassroots. Municipal SFZ groups tend to focus on educating legislators,law enforcement and health providers. The school groups draw on their internal resources; counselors, nurses and social workers to create age-appropriate mental health education. Kids love us ! The SFZ recognizes that people still need permission to talk about mental illness. We give people this permission by involving them.
The Stigma Free Zone was designed to be emulated. “Anyone can educate about mental health” is a pretty approachable idea. With no rules, it grows because people do it on their terms. NJ Assembly Resolution AR236 provides detailed instruction on how and why to establish a SFZ: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/AR/236_I1.HTM Bergen County Division of Mental Health Services designed a logo and created a free downloadable Toolkit on their website inviting anyone to use it and join. SFZ leadership created this specifically to share easy ideas for groups to replicate. Other counties/towns have already used the Toolkit: http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/index.aspx?NID=1242 We also hold a yearly county-wide symposium. The SFZ News of NJ newsletter by the Demarest SFZ Ambassador is read state-wide. She created a Constant Contact database of 1200+ ( health departments, legislators, volunteers, organizations, first responders, librarians, etc) emailing stories about different SFZs and links to state mental health/addiction news to spread awareness.
The Stigma Free Zone (SFZ) is a grassroots educational initiative, has wide volunteer and bipartisan political support. We decided not to establish a 501c3 organization. We have existed in some form since 2011 and are growing. We don’t fundraise and pay no salaries. We can and do accept donations. Donations are held in trust by a Paramus,NJ mental health provider under the auspice of our largest SFZ; The Paramus SFZ. Bergen County government donated $10,000 in 2016. CarePlus NJ provides us a free website. Rotaries, churches and colleges have held fundraisers for us. Bergen Regional Medical Center provides our printing, gratis. All SFZ events are sponsored by individual SFZ groups and volunteers. These independent groups operate locally and fund their own events. Individual groups buy their own road signs, tee shirts, and desired promotional items. Our only expenses are for our newsletter and any mental health training we support.
The Stigma Free Zone was designed to be emulated. “Anyone can educate about mental health” is an approachable idea. With no rules, it grows because people contribute on their terms. NJ Assembly Resolution AR236 provides detailed instruction on how and why to establish a SFZ: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/AR/236_I1.HTM Bergen County Division of Mental Health Services designed a logo and created a free downloadable Toolkit on their website inviting anyone to use it and join. SFZ leadership created this specifically to share ideas for groups to replicate. Other NJ counties/towns have used the Toolkit: http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/index.aspx?NID=1242 The SFZ News of NJ newsletter is read state-wide. It’s in a Constant Contact database of 1200+ ( NJ health departments, legislators, volunteers, organizations, first responders, librarians, etc.). It contains stories about different SFZs and links to state mental health/addiction news to spread program awareness. Our social media invites others to replicate us: Twitter @cynchazen, various Facebook pages.
Being Grassroots, outcomes are difficult to track and count. Every SFZ created produces at least 1 event that educates the general public about mental illness. Many SFZ now produce more annually in participation with health departments and health officials. Known SFZ groups: 47 Bergen towns have become Stigma Free Zones, plus 3 other NJ Counties. The exact number of NJ SFZ municipalities grows every month. Estimate 60+ state-wide. Other SFZ are supported by health departments, politicians, social service departments, rotaries, school districts, libraries, firefighters, law firms, businesses, churches and citizen volunteers. Our email database has 1251 (and growing) contacts; businesses, faith and mental health organizations, police departments,as well as individual volunteers, in addition to the above-named groups. SFZ have held 2 Annual County-Wide Symposiums to date. We have sponsored at least 15 Mental Health First Aid and CIT Crisis Intervention Team Trainings. We estimate 3000+ volunteers and 50 yearly events.