Volume 3 | Summer 2018
Tri County Care Management Organization
From the Desk of...
Depression and anxiety are two of the most prevalent mental health disorders, especially among adolescents. Some of the signs are: feeling sad, lack of sleep, mood changes, poor appetite, and withdrawal from friends/activities. The signs and symptoms of these disorders can be difficult to recognize because sleeplessness, irritability or lack of an appetite are disruptions that people experience every day. However, signs and symptoms that persist over time may be reason to dig a little deeper. This doesn’t have to be going for an assessment with a psychiatrist or an appointment with a therapist. It could be asking someone a follow-up question on how they’re doing. “Did you get sleep last night? Is there something keeping you up?” This small act of concern may lead to discussions that show more significant signs of increased anxiety or depression. Often, people with these signs want and need someone to talk to. Helping someone may be just taking the time to listen to their situation and gently suggesting some additional assistance.

Some people are fearful of the stigma associated with these illnesses, but the statistics show that there are millions of people who are coping with similar symptoms. There are many potential solutions and resources that are part of everyday life activities, such as exercising, yoga, meditation or massage therapy. Showing concern for or simply listening to a family member or friend can be the lifesaver for their current or long-term mental health needs. Please visit SAMHSA's link for more information related to mental health disorders including anxiety and depression: tinyurl.com/y6wb4f3c .

James Parauda, LSW
Executive Director
Youth Success Story
Nobody can say for certain where a young man as determined as Justin would be today if not for Tri County CMO's involvement. Although his family has always been skilled at finding resources, they have appreciated the additional assistance that Tri County CMO was able to provide in their time of need. The services that were implemented provided Justin with the extra support he needed to achieve a greater level of independence both at home and in his community. In addition to Tri County CMO, the family also worked closely with Autism NJ to find ways of connecting their son to social and recreational outlets. Autism Spectrum Disorder is often a misunderstood diagnosis, and it can be challenging for families to find acceptance and understanding in the communities they call home. Between the support of his team and his own hard work and persistence, Justin was able to start participating in a variety of community organizations while giving back to others in the process. He is a member of the Boy Scouts Troop #351 in Basking Ridge, holds part-time employment, and is an eager participant in his school’s theatrical productions. Getting Justin to a place of greater independence was important to help support his needs, and he now takes pride in being able to help his family.
Recent Events with Tri County CMO
On May 7th, Tri County CMO and FSO co-sponsored a Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event to shatter the stigma surrounding mental health. The evening was filled with powerful first-hand experiences of survivors of suicide made possible by Attitudes in Reverse, an organization focused on suicide prevention and awareness. Over 100 attendees and community services came together for a night filled with education, empathy, open discussion and supportive resources.

On June 25th, Tri County CMO and FSO held their 6th annual Community Picnic at Forest Lodge. Over 490 attendees enjoyed a day free of everyday challenges to simply enjoy the presence of family with activities provided.
Pride in Partnership
The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center

The Boggs Center works statewide to enhance services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To assist teams encountering such difficulties, CSOC has contracted with The Boggs Center to provide expert consultation, at the request of care managers. Consultants from the center work with Tri County CMO to assist in assessing additional service needs, troubleshoot behavioral plans, coordinate treatment, facilitate more focused team communication and collaborate regarding the needs of these unique youth. Through this process, Child and Family Teams have been able to modify behavioral strategies and coordinate appropriate clinical services to maintain more of these youth at home, in school and in the community. These youth have been able to develop new skills and adaptive behaviors to replace previously challenging behaviors that formerly presented as barriers to success. For more information, visit http://rwjms.rutgers.edu/boggscenter/.  
Community Corner
6 Core Strategies to Reduce Seclusion and Restraint

New Jersey is part of a grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to become more trauma-informed in working with people with mental health disorders. Seclusion and restraint were once perceived as therapeutic practices in the treatment of people with mental health and/or substance use disorders. Today, these methods are viewed as traumatizing, causing physical and psychological harm.
Joining with this effort, Tri County CMO will be implementing concepts from the 6 Core Strategies to Reduce Seclusion and Restraint in our work in the community, with our staff, and with residential providers. These strategies include: workforce development, leadership, engagement with families, prevention techniques, using data to inform practice, and debriefing. For more information on these 6 Core Strategies and SAMHSA’s efforts to reduce seclusion and restraint, see www.samhsa.gov.
For Your Information
Each year, more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to mourn their loss. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. These statistics are staggering and demonstrate the need to raise awareness and help those struggling and in need of treatment. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. For more information, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or the 2NDFLOOR youth helpline at 888-222-2228.
Board Members
Dan Puntillo – Chair
Walter Dudzinski – Vice Chair
Susan Zdroik – Treasurer
Deborah Collins – Secretary
Dorella L. Simpkins
Dana Goodman
Tanya Romasz-McDonald
Danielle Zurawiecki
Erin Karl
Jennifer Brown
How to Get Referred to Tri County CMO
PerformCare can help a parent or guardian connect their child to NJ Children’s System of Care services. PerformCare staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide assessment and guidance to families facing challenges to their functioning and well-being.

PerformCare / Contracted Systems Administrator (CSA)


Branchburg Office
3040 Route 22 West, Suite 210
Branchburg, NJ 08876
Phone: (908) 526-3900
Washington Office
315 West Washington Avenue, Suite 1
Washington, NJ 07782
Phone: (908) 526-3900
Tri County Care Management Organization | info@tricountyresourcenet.org | tricountyresourcenet.org