Established in 1978, the New Jersey Mental Health Players Program (NJMHP), celebrating its 34th year, is the longest-running mental health education program in New Jersey. NJMHP provides interactive, educational sessions which depict realistic scenarios involving mental health issues. The sessions provide audiences with a dynamic way to receive basic education about mental illness and become sensitized to the stigma that is often associated with having mental health challenges. NJMHP sessions are comprised of role-plays. Time is dedicated at the end of each role-play for the audience to ask questions about each mental health topic depicted and interact with the actors.

NJMHP performs for over 1,000 people annually, including members of the criminal justice system, family and probate judges and federal court personnel. NJMHP also performs at state and county agencies, schools and colleges for children, teenagers, adults and seniors. Last year’s audiences included social work, education and medical professionals.

The content of a NJMHP performance is developed to meet the specific needs of the audience based on topics chosen by the host. The list of topics includes: anxiety, major depression and bipolar disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia and bulimia, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia and alzheimer’s disease.

This year, NJMHP has agreed to present a session at the upcoming Estate and Elder Mediation Training Program. Entitled “Keeping the Peace Through Elder Mediation,” the training program is sponsored by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM). The mediation training will be held on March 29, 2012 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ. NJMHP members will present a role-play involving an elderly parent, “Helen,” her four adult children and their spouses or significant others, and Helen’s sister, “Eileen.” The case will be mediated by an elder law attorney highly experienced in elder mediation, and a geriatric care manager will participate. The session is designed to introduce the audience to a typical fact situation in an elder mediation case.

NJAPM welcomes the members of NJMHP to the first full-day training in Estate and Elder Mediation offered in New Jersey. NJMHP’s participation is highly valued, and greatly appreciated.

For more information, visit the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli website, at https://vanarellilaw.com/events-calendar.html. To register online, go to the NJAPM website, at http://njapm.org/, or call Ginny Morrissey at the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli, 908-232-7400.