Check Out Our 2017 Moorestown Progressive Dinner Photos

Posted on October 16, 2017


2017 Moorestown Progressive Dinner Hosts

Thank you to everyone who helped make the Moorestown Progressive Dinner a success. This event would not be possible without the support of friends like you! Proceeds from the event benefit the Oaks Integrated Care Food Pantries in Berlin and Mt. Holly which serve over 800 families a month.

Visit our Flickr page to see all the fantastic photos from the event!

Special Thanks to…

Mark and Kathy Esser for hosting the hors d’ouvres portion of the evening.

Dinner Hosts

Sumit & Ritu Anand
Michael & Mary Beckett
Brian & Christine Catanella
Stuart & Noelle Diamond
Albert & Nikki Fox
Calvin & Orsula Knowlton
Josh & Kate Oeltjen
Mark & Angela Rekant
Glen & Lori Walton
Rick & Jocelyn Williams

Chefs

Caffe Aldo Lamberti
The Capital Grille
Catelli Duo
The ChopHouse
Distrito
The Farm and Fisherman Tavern
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
foodwerx
Hope You’re Hungry
I Love This Food!
Seasons 52

Thank you to all our generous sponsors!

 

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Stand Up Against the Stigma of Mental Illness

Posted on October 5, 2017

October 1-7 is Mental Illness Awareness Week, a week created in the hopes of educating and increasing awareness about mental illness. Mental health issues are important to address year-round, but highlighting them during this week provides a time for people to come together to support, educate and fight against the stigma surrounding mental health.

Many people with serious mental illness are challenged doubly. Not only do they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease, but they are challenged by the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness.

Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. In fact, there are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports:

  • 1 in 5 people experience mental illness in a given year
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life
  • An estimated 350 million people suffer from depression
  • 9% of adults in the U.S. (16 million) had at least one major depressive episode in the past year
  • Nearly 60% of adults with a mental illness didn’t receive mental health services in the previous year

Mental health conditions are common, treatable and many individuals go on to recover and lead full, productive lives. Through education, empathy and encouragement, we can stand up to stigma together so that people with mental illness can get the help they need and stand as equals in our society.

If you or someone you know may need a mental health assessment, anonymous online tools are available. For National Depression Screening Day on Oct. 5, anyone can get a free mental health screening at HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org.

You can help ensure no one has to face mental illness alone. If you or someone you know feels overwhelmed or unable to cope, we encourage you to reach out for professional help. At Oaks Integrated Care our role remains not just to provide mental health services but to bring awareness to the mental health issues that affect us all at some point in our lives. To learn more about our services, visit https://oaksintcare.org/services/ or call our Access Center 1-800-963-3377.

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Suicide Prevention Month: 7 Warning Signs & How You Can Help

Posted on September 7, 2017

September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The month gives us time to connect with those affected by suicide, reflect on how suicide has touched our own lives and to share resources to better support individuals, families and their communities in efforts to prevent suicide. According to the CDC, each year more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind thousands of friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of their loss.

Too often people considering suicide are afraid to ask for help, and those who think they see the signs of trouble are reluctant to be wrong and then offend, or cause embarrassment. NAMI reports that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. and the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-24 and shares warning signs to look out for:

  1. Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
  2. Increased alcohol and drug use
  3. Aggressive behavior
  4. Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
  5. Dramatic mood swings
  6. Talking, writing or thinking about death
  7. Impulsive or reckless behavior

It can be frightening and intimidating when a loved one reveals or shows signs of suicidal thoughts. However, not taking thoughts of suicide seriously can have a devastating outcome. If someone you know has shown any of these signs, don’t just watch from the sidelines or brush it off lightly. There are ways you can help prevent someone committing a suicide attempt:

  • Do not leave the individual alone: Make sure they are with someone at all times.
  • Remove dangerous objects: Get rid of any fire arms, sharp objects, drugs or anything that could be used in a suicide attempt.
  • Tell someone and get help: There are many local resources available if someone you know is thinking about attempting suicide.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255

New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline at 1-855-654-6735

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.

Suicidal thoughts or behaviors are both damaging and dangerous and are therefore considered a psychiatric emergency. Someone experiencing these thoughts should seek immediate assistance from a mental health care provider. Oaks Integrated Care can help. For resources or more information about our services visit www.oaksintcare.org or call our Access Center: 1-800-963-3377.

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Overdose Awareness Day: Oaks Announces Opioid Overdose Recovery Program

Posted on August 31, 2017

The opioid epidemic has devastated thousands of families across our nation, state and local communities. Today people across the country and around the world come together to raise awareness for Overdose Awareness Day. For many this is a day of grieving those we have lost, but also a day of hope, a call for further action to end the overdose crisis and a chance to share resources to help those suffering.

At the national level, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War in 2016. In Burlington County alone, overdoses from heroin and other opiates rose 46 percent from 2011-2016. Since last year, more than 165 people have died of an illicit drug overdose in the county, including 82 in the first half of this year alone.

To help combat this crisis, the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services awarded Oaks the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) in Burlington County. The program, projected to start in October, is part of a state-wide effort to engage and support survivors reversed from an opioid overdose, explore recovery pathways and link them to treatment programs.

Our CEO, Derry Holland, shares, “Expanding our mission and continuum of care through addiction programs gives individuals and families increased access to critical services. We all know someone impacted by substance abuse- a family member, friend, neighbor, colleague- the disease has no boundaries. OORP offers survivors hope for recovery and a chance to end the ‘revolving door’ of cycling in and out of treatment.”

The Opioid Overdose Recovery Program will provide outreach to emergency departments in Burlington County to survivors reversed from an opioid overdose. We will respond to opioid overdose reversals in-person at local health systems. The goal of the program is to link survivors to substance use disorder treatment opportunities, follow-up care and other community resources to support their recovery.  Recovery Specialists and a Patient Navigator will provide outreach, peer support and assist with navigating the system.

“Bringing recovery specialists and the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program to Burlington County is an important step in addressing this epidemic plaguing our communities. We, along with Oaks, understand that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We are confident that if we continue to take action and come together, we can truly make a difference and save lives,” said Freeholder Linda Hughes.

“With the expertise of Oaks Integrated Care, we will link survivors to substance use disorder treatment opportunities, follow-up care and other community resources to support their recovery,” added Hughes.

Research indicates that the longer people remain involved with treatment and continuing care, the more likely they are to benefit and thrive in their recovery. OORP will offer support to survivors for a minimum of 60 days to help navigate their recovery by exploring treatment opportunities such as outpatient, residential services or medication assisted therapy, that match their readiness for change. This includes connecting the survivor to the recovery community for mutual support from individuals with shared experiences.

“I am thrilled that the Freeholders and Oaks Integrated Care have arranged to provide recovery coaches for the emergency rooms serving Burlington County. Having someone available to discuss treatment options following an overdose is a great opportunity to encourage those who are struggling with addiction to make use of available resources. We must continue to find ways to provide treatment for those whose lives are being ruined by this horrific epidemic,” said Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina.

Throughout our history, Oaks has cared for individuals and families with substance use and/or co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders in multiple New Jersey counties. We take a holistic approach to recovery by empowering individuals and families in decision-making and addressing barriers to service such as lack of transportation, food insecurity and homelessness. For more information about services, please visit www.oaksintcare.org or call our Access Center 1-800-963-3377.

Oaks plans to attend two vigils this evening hosted by Burlington County organizations in honor of International Overdose Awareness Day. Please join us:

The Adam O’Brien Foundation is hosting a candlelight vigil at Indian Acres Tree Farm off Tuckerton Road in Medford, beginning at 6 p.m. The organization also has put together a video of those who have lost their lives to addiction and plans to have guest speakers address addiction, specifically heroin and opioids.

In Mount Holly, Shouting4Shelby, which was created in honor of a 22-year-old who died from an overdose, teamed with the Township Council to host a candlelight vigil and slideshow from 6 to 10 p.m. at Iron Works Park on Wollner Drive. Those who attend are asked to bring a pair of shoes to represent a loved one lost to addiction. The shoes will be donated to a rehabilitation center or homeless shelter.

Additional Resources:

REACH NJ
Ph:  1-844-732-2465

NJ Addiction Service Hotline
Ph:  1-844-276-2777

NJ Connect for Recovery
Ph:  1-855-652-3737

Burlington County Alcohol & Drug Abuse Unit
Ph:  609-265-5530

 

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Over 900 Backpacks Donated

Posted on August 30, 2017

With your help, over 900 children and teens went back to school with backpacks stuffed to the max with supplies. All donations –backpacks, lunchboxes, highlighters, markers, notebooks and more– were sorted and distributed to children in need of support. It’s because of YOU that children have the chance to start the school year with the tools and confidence needed to succeed!

Thank you for all the groups that held drives! Here are a few photos from this year’s drive:


Hoeganaes Corp.


Amica Mutual Insurance Co.


Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern NJ


Christian Faith Assembly


Ikea of Mt. Holly


REMAX Preferred and REMAX of Cherry Hill


Surety Title Company


Weichert – Burlington


TD Equipment

Thanks again to everyone who helped make this year’s Operation Fill-A-Backpack Drive a success. If you have pictures of your own backpack drive, we’d love to see them! Post or tag us on social media.

Upcoming Events:

September 23: Oaks Integrated Care Touch A Truck

October 13: 13th Annual Moorestown Progressive Dinner

November 1 – 20: Thanksgiving Turkey Drive

Questions? Please call the Development Office at 609-267-5928 or visit www.oaksintcare.org.

 

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Jamie’s Road to Independence

Posted on August 16, 2017

Thirty-one-year-old Jamie lives with a developmental disability and also struggled for years with suicidal ideations and psychiatric hospitalizations. Living independently and maintaining interpersonal relationships was extremely difficult due to challenges with a personality disorder and bipolar disorder. For much of her life, Jamie yearned to find independence.

In 2008, Jamie entered our Supervised Apartments where she started to learn coping and anger management skills. The program provides adults with developmental disabilities the necessary daily living skills to function on their own with minimal assistance such as meal preparation, medication administration, household upkeep and community integration.

Today Jamie can proudly say that she has not had any hospitalizations in nearly ten years and no longer experiences thoughts of suicide. With daily encouragement, she now maintains her apartment with minimal help from staff, responsibly takes her medication and advocates for overall health and wellness. Jamie also sustains two jobs which allow her to function independently in the community.

This past May, Jamie and her long-term boyfriend, Raul, held a beautiful, intimate ceremony as a symbol of their love. The couple’s ability to maintain a stable relationship symbolized the icing on the cake to celebrate Jamie’s road to independence! In the future, she looks forward to living with Raul, raising a family and taking a Disney Cruise with a guided tour. Jamie’s story shows that with stable housing and wraparound services, the road to independence is possible.

For more information about services, visit www.oaksintcare.org or call our Access Center: 1-800-963-3377.

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Operation Fill-A-Backpack: Now – August 18

Posted on August 1, 2017

 Give a Child the Confidence Needed to Succeed

It may feel like summer just started, but ‘Back to School’ is just around the corner! Children throughout the community will pick out new pencils, notebooks, binders and more for their first day of school. When children return to school without these basic school supplies, it can have a devastating impact on their education.

Unfortunately, many parents of children in Oaks Integrated Care programs cannot afford new backpacks and essential supplies for the upcoming school year. These essential items will give a child hope and the confidence needed to start the school year off on the right foot!

You can help! #FillABackpack

  1. Run your OWN Operation Fill-A-Backpack drive
    Get your family, friends, co-workers or community involved! We can provide you with a toolkit including collection bins, flyers and email templates.
  2. Donate Items
    For a complete list of drop-off locations, visit our Operation Fill-A-Backpack page.

Donation Ideas

  • Backpacks
  • Lunchboxes
  • Book covers
  • Pens, pencils, pencil cases & erasers
  • Three-ring binder with paper
  • Spiral bound & composition notebooks
  • Calculators (solar & scientific)
  • Protractors & rulers
  • Index cards
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Facial tissues & hand sanitizer
  • Pocket folders
  • Crayons, markers & highlighters
  1. No time to shop? We’ll do it for you!

Mail monetary donations to:
Oaks Integrated Care
Attn: Development Office
770 Woodlane Road
Mt. Holly, NJ 08060

Questions? Please call the Development Office at 609-267-5928, x99836 or visit www.oaksintcare.org.

 

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Donor Spotlight: CommUNITY – Cakes4Kids

Posted on July 27, 2017

Thanks to the generosity of CommUNITY’s Cakes4Kids program, children living in oaks Integrated Care group homes have the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays like any other child. The organization donates, beautiful, individualized birthday cakes with special themes and fun flavors to help provide the traditional birthday experience every child deserves!

CommUNITY, a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization, promotes greater cross-cultural understanding in the South Jersey-Philadelphia region by giving back, serving communities and promoting unity through diversity. The Cakes4Kids program was born out of love for children, confections and celebration! Fozia Janjua, Director of Membership, shared, “This is the least that we can do to help these children who are persevering through some difficult circumstances.”

Thank you for your support and commitment to our community!

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In the End, It Really Does Matter

Posted on July 21, 2017

Thursday afternoon, July 21, phones started to ring and buzz constantly, Facebook became flooded with posts and the world shared in heartbreak as they discovered Chester Bennington had committed suicide at age 41. The Linkin Park lead singer’s death shocked and saddened many fans including me. More importantly, six children lost their father, a wife lost her husband, two parents lost their son and a brother lost his brother.

When I received the text about his death, I didn’t want to believe it. I told myself my friend had simply come across fake news. I took to the internet hoping with everything I had that it wasn’t true. My heart shattered when I saw the many posts on my Facebook timeline, sharing about the loss of the beloved artist.

Ever since I can remember Linkin Park provided me with an escape from anything negative going on in my life. Their music, Bennington’s music, had a huge part in helping me cope with bullying in middle school. Then in high school when I felt too ashamed and embarrassed to reach out to anyone, that music helped me survive and eventually work up the courage and strength to leave an abusive relationship. To this day I still listen to Linkin Park when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed. For so many people it provides an escape from reality or inspires strength to leave a situation that may be causing harm, to understand that they deserve better and are better.

If you’re reading this, it means you’re still here. Please know you’re not the only one who hurts. You’re not the only one with questions and sadness and pain. Mental illness does not see a face. It does not see status, wealth, race, gender, etc. Depression does not care who you are or what you do. It will grasp you just the same and leave you struggling for breath. Take the time to appreciate all that you have. Unfortunately, Bennington wouldn’t have been the only person to die by suicide in the United States on Thursday. Every day, an estimated 121 people take their own lives with suicide being the 10th leading cause of death, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

At Oaks Integrated Care we can help! Mental health conditions are common, treatable and many individuals go on to recover and lead full and productive lives. Unfortunately many people are reluctant to ask for help or simply don’t know where to find it. You can help ensure no one has to face mental illness alone. If you or someone you know feels overwhelmed or unable to cope, we encourage you to reach out for professional help.

For resources or more information about our services visit www.oaksintcare.org or call our Access Center: 1-800-963-3377. In the end, it really does matter. Rest in peace Chester Bennington. You will be greatly missed.

-Jeannette

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A Special Mother’s Day Tea

Posted on July 5, 2017

Pastel table cloths, spring flowers, aromatic teas and china tea cups are the hallmark of an English tea party. To celebrate Mother’s Day this past May, staff transformed the conference room at the Charles Yates Center for Children and Families in Lumberton into a lovely English tea setting in honor of the teen mothers from our Teenage Parents Program (TAPP). Mother’s Day is a special day for ALL mothers to feel loved and appreciated and staff wanted to ensure the young mothers in the program experienced a positive, memorable occasion.

The young women in the program juggle motherhood, school and many of them part-time employment. The tea party was the perfect opportunity to pamper the moms and recognize their hard work. Thanks to donations from our Project Dress Up shop, the ladies picked out beautiful gowns, shoes and accessories to wear to the event. On the day of the tea, the moms and their children entered the conference room decorated especially for them with spring inspired decorations and personalized tea cups. The group enjoyed each other’s company while savoring delicious petit fours, assorted sandwiches and salads served with delightful tea by Oaks staff members. Alize Hughes, a mother in attendance shared, “I was so surprised when I walked into the room and saw all the decorations and food.  I wasn’t expecting that.  It was so nice.”

The Mother’s Day Tea clearly made the young moms feel special and the staff plan on making it an annual event! Check out the pictures from the occasion:

Through TAPP, young moms and their families receive mentoring, life skills training and help with parenting skills. For more information about TAPP and other services offered at Oaks Integrated Care, visit www.oaksintcare.org or call our Access Center: 1-800-963-3377.

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