CarePlus NJ continues community education efforts with series of free summer workshops

1st session to discuss cultural competency and resources for LGBTQ+ community

Paramus-based CarePlus New Jersey on Thursday announced it is offering a free Summer Series education program comprised of three virtual workshops, taking place once a month throughout June, July and August.

Part of CarePlus NJ’s Community Education Series, the monthly workshops mark CarePlus NJ’s second installment of its summer series, which was first launched in 2021.

In recognition of Pride Month, the first Summer Series workshop is entitled “Solidarity with PRIDE,” which will take place at noon Wednesday at 12 p.m. via Zoom.

CarePlus NJ’s Monica Goffan will lead the session, which will discuss and review topics in relation to LGBTQ+ terminology, mental health issues that impact the community surrounding substance abuse, involvement in the welfare and criminal justice systems, and elevated risk for suicide. Workshop participants will gain critical skills, tools, knowledge and connections to help create more inclusive environments for the LGBTQ+ community as well as support their physical and mental health while increasing their own cultural competency.

Focusing on youth mental health, the second virtual Summer Series session, entitled “Handling Our Students With Care: From Responding to ACE Alerts to Building a Support Team” will take place at noon July 20 and be hosted by CarePlus NJ’s Ashley Morolla, program manager and crisis and trauma specialist. The workshop will cover the purpose and protocol of the “Handle with Care” mandate in New Jersey and what this means for school districts. It will also discuss the importance of Assessment Care Teams in school settings and how combating Adverse Childhood Experiences with healthy relationships, appropriate supports and resources can lead to the most meaningful and positive outcomes for students.

Rounding out the Summer Series, the third free virtual workshop, “Keep Your Cool: Mind-Body Practices” will be facilitated by Caitlyn Yerves and will take place at noon Aug. 17. The session will review basic Mind-Body Practices that can be utilized every day to develop balance, harmony and well-being. Attendees will learn about the impact of stress and relaxation, and how yoga, breathing practices and mindfulness can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. This interactive session will include movement and meditation, as well as discussion and reflective writing prompts designed to provide insights and promote personal and interpersonal peace.

“We launched our Community Education Series last year as a means to engage the community on a number of timely issues related to mental health and wellness,” Caitlyn Yerves, senior director of marketing and community relations, stated. “We are thrilled to continue these efforts through the second installment of our free summer series of workshops, which will help us remain connected with our community and work together to provide resources and unpack important issues. CarePlus NJ experts will be exploring a range of engaging topics over the next few months suited not only to mental health professionals, but the community as a whole, and we hope those interested will join us for these informative sessions.”

Registration is now open for the free Summer Series workshops, and registration can be completed at the following links: