Volume 4 | Fall 2018
Tri County Community Connections
From the Desk of...
Overcoming the “Blues” During the Holiday Bustle
The late year holiday season is often seen as “the most wonderful time of the year.” People look forward to gathering with families and friends and having time off from work. However, for some people this can be the most challenging time of the year.
The stress of preparing for gatherings, buying gifts and managing a tight schedule can be overwhelming or even depressing. Some people find that the time put into extra responsibilities during the holiday season serves as an extension of obligations to their family. As people gather with their families, this time of year may also be a reminder of loved ones lost in recent years. This may trigger a state of sadness in their lives. Individuals may feel as though they are dampening the spirit of others if they are not fully embracing the spirit of the holiday season and therefore hide their symptoms from others.
Dealing with the “holiday blues” may be a difficult and lonely process for many individuals. Reaching out to others for help during a seemingly wonderful time of year may not be comfortable which may contribute to feelings of isolation. Many feel the stress of the holidays but struggle to reach out for help. For strategies to cope with the “holiday blues,” and re-discover the magic of the season, visit the link below.

James Parauda, LSW
Executive Director
Youth Success Story
One of the primary goals of Tri County CMO is to connect youth and their families with supports in their communities. This can become challenging in situations where youth are too anxious to leave their homes to get to school, medical appointments, or even just to accompany their families while running errands. Matthew and his family were able to navigate around this barrier with assistance from their team, including care manager Yahaira Gonzalez and the staff at Allegro School. When Yahaira first met their family, Matthew was struggling to attend school. The family noticed significant changes once Matthew transferred to Allegro School and began behavioral services at home. Now Matthew attends school regularly, takes the bus both ways with minimal challenges, and even participated in a recent school dance where he had a blast taking pictures with his mother and spending time with his classmates. Matthew benefitted tremendously from Yahaira’s relentless advocacy, as well as partnership with the school to link Matthew to behavioral supports. Behavioral services provided Matthew with much-needed support during his transitions back home from school, as well as increased support for community activities. As Matthew started feeling more comfortable in his community, he and his family became more connected. Matthew has attended the Tri County CMO picnic for the last three years and has been able to participate in school community outings without the same level of anxiety he experienced in the past.  
Pride in Partnership
The Pioneer (formerly EmPoWER) Family Success Center (FSC)
is a community-based, family centered, neighborhood gathering place where any Somerset County resident can go for family support, information, and referral to services. Tri County CMO supports the mission of the FSC to provide an environment to strengthen and empower individuals and families, and to build connections among families and the community. The FSC is conveniently located in downtown Somerville (50 Division Street).
Everything offered at the Pioneer Family Success Center is FREE. The bilingual staff at the FSC works collaboratively with various community partners to bring together resources and activities into an integrated services system. The FSC provides monthly Family Fun Nights, offers workshops/trainings in parent education and life skills, makes referrals and links families/individuals to county and local resources for food, clothing, housing, counseling, etc.
For more information:  www.pioneerfsc.com , www.facebook.com/pioneerfsc , 908.722.4400
Save the Date
Tri County CMO & FSO Open House
On Friday, December 7 th Tri County Care Management Organization and the Family Support Organization will be hosting our annual Holiday Open House.The event will be held at the Center for Educational Advancement located at 11 Minneakoning Road, Flemington, NJ 08822. This will be a time for our enrolled families to come together in the holiday spirit and socialize. Refreshments and activities will be provided. Stay tuned for more information!
Community Corner
As Tri County CMO continues to serve youth with mental health, substance use and developmental/intellectual challenges, the benefit derived from partnership with the school manifests in improved outcomes in the education as well as home and community arenas. Effective with the commencement of this school year through June 2019, Tri County CMO is embarking upon extensive school outreach within its catchment area of Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren counties. The twofold objective is: 1) to impart the role and wraparound care model of our agency as a DCF-Children’s System of Care provider; and 2) elicit input from staff as to how we can collaboratively foster partnerships on behalf of our mutually served youth/student. 
For Your Information
About 20% of young people will experience depression in their teen years, which can lead to problems at school, running away, low self-esteem, eating disorders, self-injury or disinterest in their futures. For free, anonymous, online screenings for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder visit https://tinyurl.com/y9ndz5z5 . Carrier Clinic, at 252 County Road 601 in Belle Mead, is offering free, confidential screening and information/referrals on November 13th, 3-7 pm.
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 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 07882
Phone: (908) 526-3900
Tri County Care Management Organization | info@tricountyresourcenet.org | tricountyresourcenet.org