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Attitudes In Reverse® to be Honored by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey

Attitudes In Reverse® to be Honored by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) is pleased to honor Attitudes In Reverse® as a Golden Bell Leadership Award recipient. The Attitudes In Reverse co-founders Tricia Baker, Kurt Baker, and Katelyn Baker, will accept the award at the MHANJ’s Evening of Excellence on Wednesday, June 18, at the Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. “The founders of Attitudes In Reverse have created a positive, well-received approach toward teaching young people about   mental illness, educating 14,000 students in their first three years. We admire their strength, dedication and heartfelt courage in using the experience of losing a loved one as the impetus to help others, and their dedication to breaking down stigma and saving lives,” stated Carolyn Beauchamp, President and CEO of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.  Attitudes In Reverse (AIR) was established by Tricia, Kurt and Katelyn Baker of Plainsboro, in 2010, soon after their son/brother, Kenny, completed suicide following a long battle against severe depression and anxiety. AIR has a three-pronged approach: The Coming Up for AIR program, an educational program which uses Kenny’s story and shares facts about mental illness to educate youth about good mental health and suicide prevention in middle and high schools, colleges and universities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont The IN THEIR SHOES Campaign, a poignant exhibit using shoes to represent those who have completed suicide which promotes the ideal that NO YOUTH should ever be afraid to seek treatment for a biological brain-based illness, developed to increase understanding, empathy and kindness to those who struggle in silence, afraid to seek help The AIR Dogs: Paws for Minds, a dog therapy program which helps to improve the mental well-being of humans by bringing dogs into their lives through opportunities to interact with them “We are very proud of our unique programs and our signature focus on adolescents and young adults, which we chose because 50  percent of mental health disorders develop by age 14 and two-thirds develop by age 24. We must be proactive because we are losing too many young people. They need to know that they are not alone, that help is available and that treatment can be very effective, especially when it is started early," said Tricia Baker. With limited resources and a small, yet passionate team of volunteers, AIR is making a profound difference in many people’s lives.     The MHANJ’s Evening of Excellence June 18, 2014 marks the 15th Annual Evening of Excellence benefit for the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. In addition to Attitudes in Reverse, the other 2014 MHANJ Golden Bell Leadership Award recipients are Governor Richard J. Codey, Deborah Megaro, CEO, Capitol County Children’s Collaborative and Jefferson Township Councilwoman Debi Merz. To purchase tickets to the MHANJ’s Evening of Excellence or to become a sponsor, please contact Merrill Altberg at maltberg@mhanj.org or 973-571-4100, ext. 118. About the Mental Health Association in New Jersey Since 1948, the Mental Health Association in New Jersey has fulfilled its mission by responding to issues and concerns raised by consumers of mental health services. The Association works for changes and promotes policies that protect consumers’ rights and fights the stigma that surrounds mental illness and makes recovery difficult. The MHANJ advocates for systems change with elected and appointed government officials on the state, federal and local levels. Administrative, legal, budgetary and treatment issues that affect people with mental illness are all addressed. The organization also provides services that directly assist consumers in need. The MHANJ’s state headquarters is located in Verona, New Jersey; additional offices are located in Atlantic, Hudson, Ocean and Union Counties. For more information about the MHANJ, visit www.mhanj.org, call 973-571-4100 or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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