Hazlet Township has declared itself a "stigma free" community. Hazlet joins the region and county in an effort to reduce the negative beliefs associated with mental illness and substance use disorders. We are dedicated to raising awareness of the disease of mental illness and substance use disorders to create a culture where residents feel supported by their community and neighbors and feel free to seek treatment for the diseases without fear of being outcast.
Stigma is a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labelled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. It brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept help.
As a result, it is one of the primary reasons individuals do not seek help when they experience symptoms of mental illness.
The Stigma-free initiative aligns with the Hazlet Township’s mission to collaborate with community stakeholders to prevent substance abuse and other at-risk behaviors, mental health crises, and substance use/mental health disorder stigmas through awareness, resources, and education.