Tel: 973-509-9777

Mental Health Association of Essex County, Inc.

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IFSS Psycho Educational Series

About the program

Families caring for and concerned about their loved ones who have a mental illness, need a lot of information to be able to effectively help both their loved ones and themselves. Families have found it helpful to understand the different types of mental illness, as well as the symptoms and the medications that are used to treat them. Families need to know what mental health programs are out there, what entitlements and benefits are available, and how to obtain them. They need to know about housing, estate planning, and services like Integrated Case Management Services (ICMS), Programs for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) and the Collaborative Justice Services (CJS). Families need to understand how to fight for the rights of those with mental illness, advocate for their loved ones with inpatient units, outpatient treatment programs as well as with managed care companies. They need to know about how to deal with substance abuse issues that might complicate their loved one's mental illness and treatment.

Most of all, families need to know they are not alone, and can get help in coping with the tremendous burden they feel in the 24 hours a day, 365 days a year job, of caring for their loved ones. Families need to know they are doing everything they can to insure their loved ones can live and function not just for now, but long after they are no longer around.

This is why we feel the need to continue our PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL series for families and have designed an eight-week curriculum.

Q & A

When does this series begin again?
Check the calendar for the next upcoming psychoeducational series.

Where does this series meet?
To make this series accessible to everyone, IFSS believes in moving this series around to all parts of Essex County. Check the calendar for the times and location of the next psychoeducational series.

How often does the group meet?
This 8-week series is offered several times throughout the year.

Is there a cost or fee?
No, this series is completely free with no cost.

How do I sign up?
We are the Intensive Family Support Service (IFSS), a program of the Mental Health Association of Essex County. You can call 973-509-9777 ext 111 to speak to Arielle Scarpelli or leave a message on her voicemail. You can also register for this series via E-mail as well at:

Who will be the family educators?
In addition to the mental health professionals on staff at the IFSS, special guest speakers, and most importantly, other family members will appear as guest speakers when they have expertise on a particular subject area or topic that is being discussed. Presentations will use multimedia to convey information to family members.

Who should attend, who can I bring to these groups?
Any family member or friend who wants to come is welcome.


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