Did You Know? Youth Mental Health

  • Youth who feel engaged and supported at school and at home are less likely to experience negative health outcomes related to mental health, violence, sexual risks, and substance use later in life.
  • CDC research found that students who felt more connected in their schools and to their families during adolescence experienced a 48% to 66% lower risk of poor health outcomes in adulthood.

Schools, families, and healthcare providers can take steps to promote connectedness among youth, leading to healthier adults.

Laughter Yoga

Laugh for the Health of It!

Free Laughter Yoga Group Sessions

8/15; 9/19; 10/17; 11/21; 12/19

4:00 pm – 4:45 pm

Live life laughing!  Want to discover how to let go of your worries and whatever is holding you back? Come and try Laughter Yoga. This is for the open-minded and the curious who want to learn to live more joyfully and be more present. In this series of summer and fall sessions, we laugh for no reason for the amazing health benefits and fun. Those who laugh regularly with sustained laughter report numerous changes including reduced pain, increased connection with others, better sleep, energy, mood and overall outlook.  Come join us and laugh for the health of It!!!

Please register at https://mercercouncil.org/news/calendar

Prevention Coalition of Mercer County
1931 Brunswick Ave.
Lawrence, NJ  08648

Sweltering Summer Temps Can Make You Sick: Drug-Induced Hyperthermia Can Be Fatal During the Summer Heat

The New Jersey Poison Information & Education System — Serving New Jersey Since 1983

For Immediate Release

Media to contact:
800-962-1253 if outside NJ

Sweltering Summer Temps Can Make You Sick
Drug-Induced Hyperthermia Can Be Fatal During the Summer Heat

(Newark, NJ) – The potential for developing heat-related illness greatly increases as our state experiences prolonged bouts of excessive heat and humidity. Although residents go about their daily routines regardless of the unbearable heat, the poison control center warns that high heat and humidity can kill when the body is unable to regulate an extremely high internal temperature.

Hyperthermia (heat stroke) not only occurs when temperatures reach dangerous levels, but also from the use of certain therapeutic, recreational and illicit drugs. These drugs can prevent the body from cooling down through sweating. Too often this results in serious health complications – drug-induced fever and dehydration.

“Excessive heat combined with certain drugs like ecstasy (MDMA), cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin can be deadly,” says Diane Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also mask the symptoms of overheating. But it’s not just illicit drugs. Certain medications, like antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, antipsychotics, and ADHD medications can also cause hyperthermia when taken during extremely hot and humid weather. When body temperatures rise to dangerous levels, the brain and body overheat resulting in an increased risk for health-related stroke or death.”

Although it might seem that heat stroke comes on suddenly, warning signs often appear early on. Know the symptoms, prevent a tragedy — abdominal cramps, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, weakness, heavy sweat or a lack of sweat, confusion, odd behavior, irritability, delusions, hallucinations, seizures, and coma. Heat stroke is a medical emergency – it is critical that you act fast. “Think before taking drugs of any kind in the heat,” says Calello. “It might save your life.”

Every minute counts in poisoning situations – Do Not Guess! If you have questions, concerns or an emergency about something you ate, touched or smelled, immediately contact the medical professionals at the New Jersey Poison Control Center, 1-800-222-1222. You may call, text, or chat with our professionals for free, 24/7. Save the Poison Help line in your phone today to be prepared for what may happen tomorrow. It just may save you back!

If someone is unconscious, not breathing, hard to wake up, or seizing, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Help is Just a Phone Call Away!

Stay Connected: Facebook (@NJPIES) and Twitter (@NJPoisonCenter) for breaking news, safety tips, trivia questions, etc.

Real People. Real Answers.


Available for Media Interviews
Diane P. Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director, New Jersey Poison Control Center, Rutgers NJ Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine

Bruce Ruck, Pharm.D., Managing Director, New Jersey Poison Control Center, Rutgers NJ Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine

Lewis S. Nelson, MD, Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers NJ Medical School

About New Jersey Poison Control Center / NJPIES
Chartered in 1983, the New Jersey Poison Information & Education System (NJPIES) is New Jersey’s only poison control center. Medical professionals such as physicians, registered nurses and pharmacists offer free consultation through hotline services (telephone, text and chat) regarding poison emergencies and provide information on poison prevention, drugs, food poisoning, animal bites and more. In addition, it tracks incidences of adverse reactions to food, drugs and vaccines in order to monitor potential public health issues and provide data to the New Jersey Department of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NJPIES’ confidential services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. When needed, NJPIES responds to other emergent health issues by expanding hotline services.

NJPIES is designated as the state’s regional poison control center by the New Jersey Department of Health and the American Association of Poison Control Centers. It is a division of the Department of Emergency Medicine of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. NJPIES has a state-of-the-art center located at Rutgers Health Sciences in Newark. NJPIES is funded, in part, by the NJ Department of Health, NJ Hospitals and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

New Jersey residents should save the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, in their mobile phones and post the number somewhere visible in their home. NJPIES is also available via text 8002221222@njpies.org and chat www.njpies.org.
Stay Connected: FB / Twitter / Website

About Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Founded in 1954, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is the oldest school of medicine in the state. Today it is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and graduates approximately 170 physicians a year. In addition to providing the MD degree, the school offers MD/PhD, MD/MPH and MD/MBA degrees through collaborations with other institutions of higher education. Dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care and community outreach, the medical school comprises 20 academic departments and works with several healthcare partners, including its principal teaching hospital, University Hospital. Its faculty consists of numerous world-renowned scientists and many of the region’s “top doctors.” Home to the nation’s oldest student-run clinic, New Jersey Medical School hosts more than 50 centers and institutes, including the Public Health Research Institute Center, the Global Tuberculosis Institute and the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit: njms.rutgers.edu.

Overdose and Suicide Awareness Vigil 8/28/19

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Raritan Valley Community College Conference Center
118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, NJ 08876

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Door open at 6:00, speakers start at 6:30)

Click Here for Flyer

– Come out to raise awareness of the significant impact overdose and suicide has on our community, reduce stigma, and connect with one another.
– Join your community to remember and honor those lost to overdose and suicide
– Send a strong message to individuals battling mental health and substance use disorders that they are valued, supported, and that they don’t have to go through it alone.

For more information contact Jennifer Sorensen, Municipal Alliance Coordinator at (908) 704-6305 or sorensen@co.somerset.nj.us

Sponsored by Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, The Governor’s Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Pioneer Family Success Center, and Safe Communities Coalition of Somerset & Hunterdon Counties.

National Farmers Market Week!

August 8, 2019 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm @ 960 Spruce Street, Lawrence, NJ 08648

Free Events & Services:

    • Cooking Demonstrations
    • SNAP* Info & Applications
    • WIC S/FMNP* Applications

* Based on Income Eligibility

Cedarville Farms

Corner Copia Farms

Cranberry Hall Farm

Pineland Farms

Russo’s Fruit & Vegetable Farm

Terhune Orchards

Plus Eateries, Meat, & Poultry

Breads & Baked Goods, and More!

Health Walks in August

Health Hike Walking Program: Walk independently in the Mall’s safe, climate controlled environment as early as 6:30 am from Monday through Saturday and 9:00 am on Sunday. Each lap around the 2nd & 3rd levels is a 1/2 mile and the 1st level is a 1/4 mile. Please visit the mall office on the first level near Pottery Barn to register and receive an ID Badge.

Saturday, August 10: Walk 2.5 to 3 mile  at Duke Farms. Group meets up at the Farm Barn Orientation Center at 9:00 am. 

Saturday, August 17: Natirar Park in Peapack. Walk 1.3 mile Great Meadow Trail and the 1.0 mile Upper Field Nature Trail. Group meets in the upper parking lot next to the barn at 9:00am.

Saturday, August 24 @ 9:00 am in the food court of Bridgewater Commons Mall with Vivian Moreno, from RWJ Somerset Community Health to walk and talk “Sun Safety for the Summer and Beyond”.

Click here for flyer

August National Breastfeeding Month

Join Michelle Brill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Family & Community Health Sciences Educator for

MAMA MONDAY: Free Monthly Meeting

“Breastfeeding and Beyond” August 5, 2019 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the Trenton Free Public Library, 120 Academy Street, Trenton, NJ 08608.

Refreshments and free giveaways!

Register by calling the Trenton Free Public Library at 609-392-7188 or through Eventbrite.com (search Mama Mondays) or click the link below:

Eventbrite Mama Mondays Registration  

Tackling Opioids through Prevention for Athletes

FREE EVENT for Coaches & Athletic Directors/Trainers

Wednesday, August 14th
6 – 7:30pm (light dinner and refreshments will be served)

Mercer Council
1931 Brunswick Avenue, Lawrence Twp., NJ

All attendees will receive a copy of the Tackling Opioids Through Prevention for Athletes Toolkit.

Barbara Sprechman<a href=”https://health.montgomery.nj.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Changing-the-Script-1.pdf”></a>
609-396-5874 or bsprechman@mercercouncil.org

International Overdose Awareness Day 8/27/19

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Hopewell Valley Community & Prevention Coalition of Mercer County

Candlelight Vigil: Come light a candle in memory of a lost or recovering addict.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm @ Woolsey Park – Hopewell Township

Memorial Display: Recovery Resources, Rx Drop Box for old/unused medications

Please bring a pair of shoes/picture for the Memorial Display to honor your lost loved one

Click here for flyer

Teen Sex Trafficking – KNOW! To Educate Them to Protect Them

The following Know! Tip discusses the sex trafficking of children. There is no graphic content or description below, but it could still be difficult for some readers. If you suspect human trafficking might be occurring near you or need help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, TTY 711, text 233-733, or chat with the hotline at humantraffickinghotline.org/chat

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says more than 300,000 of our nation’s young people are considered at-risk for sexual exploitation annually. An estimated 150,000 U.S. born children are formerly recruited into sex trafficking each year, with 14 being the average age of recruitment.

In the previous tip, Teen Sex Trafficking – What Parents Need to KNOW!, we defined teen sex trafficking, discussed the wide range of young people who are at risk, and talked about the fact that traffickers prey upon the vulnerabilities and naiveties of children.

In talking with our children on this subject, they should be made aware of the clever and highly manipulative ways in which sex traffickers operate. It is the recruitment, grooming, and seasoning of a victim.

Recruitment: A trafficker typically befriends the victim and gains their trust. They may even pretend to be the victim’s romantic love interest. They tend to shower the young person with gifts and an overabundance of compliments.

Grooming: The trafficker slowly begins to isolate the victim from friends and family. The trafficker may supply the victim with drugs and alcohol and starts controlling how the victim dresses, behaves, and spends personal time. At this stage, the victim is encouraged to participate in sexual activities that involve modeling, stripping, and pornography.

Seasoning: This is the final phase, where the victim experiences emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. Depending on the situation, there may be confinement, forced sexual education, re-naming or re-programming of the victim, and removal from familiarity. Through manipulation, the victim feels increasingly dependent on the trafficker. At this point, the trafficker typically has some leverage that keeps the victim from running away or seeking help, including threats made against the victim’s loved ones.

It is important for children to know that a “trafficker” may be male or female, of any age, and could even be a classmate recruiting on behalf of a trafficker. Popular recruitment areas include parks and playgrounds, schools, walking to and from bus stops, shopping malls, gas stations, truck stops, and online—including through social media.

We must also make it clear that a young person manipulated into sex trafficking is never the one at fault. They are a victim—not in need of punishment, but in need of help.

In addition to TALKING about teen sex trafficking, we can further protect our children by taking these steps:

  1. Set a high standard of love within your home. The way you define and express your love to them will set the foundation for their self-image, confidence, and expectations in future relationships.
  2. Be the person they can turn to. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Your children must hear it from you that if anyone exhibits inappropriate sexual behavior toward them in any way (including past occurrences), they can and should come to you.
  3. Warn them about the dangers of social media. We assume our children know not to send naked photos, share personal information online, or agree to meet up with anyone they meet on the internet, but children need to be reminded. It is also essential that children be made aware the difference between an online “friend” and an established friendship.
  4. Pay attention to your children. Know your child’s whereabouts online and in the real world. Find ways to get to know their friends and their friends’ parents. Be aware of friendships/relationships that seem to isolate your child from other friends and family. Notice if your child has new clothes, makeup, electronics, or other items, and ask how they acquired them.

You also have the opportunity to help other children, especially as families travel this summer (or anytime). Keep an eye out for potential sex trafficking victims, and if you witness or suspect something, to please report it immediately.

Hotels, bars, truck stops, buses, the streets, political or sporting events, and even “front businesses” such as nail salons, are all common places where victims of trafficking are likely to be spotted.

Red flags to watch out for include:

  • Controlling or abusive “boyfriend” or older female.
  • Signs of physical abuse, such as burn marks, bruises, or cuts.
  • Tattoos burned or branded onto a child’s body, particularly when coupled with the youth’s reluctance to explain the tattoo (ex. barcode or money symbol).
  • Multiple young people present with an unrelated male or female.
  • Living out of suitcases, at motels, or in a car.
  • Referring to traveling to other cities or states. Or, the young person isn’t from the current location. The child may also lack knowledge of his or her travel plans, destinations, and/or his or her current location.
  • Items or an appearance that doesn’t fit a young person’s current situation. For instance, look for a child who appears homeless but has money, electronics, new clothes or shoes, and who has his or her hair and nails done.
  • References to traveling job opportunities (including modeling, singing and/or dancing in a music group, or magazine sales crew).

Physically intervening in certain situations may put a child in further danger. If you sense immediate danger for a child, call 911 without hesitation. It is better to err on the side of caution. Otherwise, reach out to the National Human Trafficking Hotline to report a detailed tip or get help: 1-888-373-7888, TTY: 711, Text: 233733, or Chat. It’s confidential 24/7.

Sources: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Child Sex Trafficking. O.U.R. Stories: Protecting Children from Sex Trafficking. REST: 6 Ways Parents Can Protect Their Children from Sex Trafficking. April 2013. Shared Hope International: Report Trafficking. United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, Annual Report 2019