Community foundation pledges to fund school nurses in Morris, Sussex

(Morristown, NJ) – The Community Foundation of New Jersey announced today that it has pledged $ 70,000 for the professional development of public school nurses in Morris and Sussex counties. It comes as public school nurses continue to balance the physical and emotional health of students, families, colleagues and themselves amid yet another wave of COVID-19. Stress, anxiety and recent conflicts over immunizations have further exacerbated the pressure on school nurses.

The funding will take the form of a grant to the Mental Health Association of New Jersey, which will coordinate three interrelated programs. A weekly virtual support / education group designed and facilitated by experienced New Jersey school nurses will provide opportunities for self-care, discussion, mutual support, and referral to additional services. Two lectures will address issues raised in the weekly support groups, with more in-depth conversation and additional opportunities for networking and mutual support. And finally, funding will be available for school nurses to join national, state and local organizations and attend the state’s annual school nurses conference.

“This combination of programs and services provides a network of support that currently does not exist for school nurses, who all experience additional stress,” said Robert Kley, vice president and chief operating officer of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. “These opportunities for long-term self-care, emotional support and education can help increase the strength and resilience of school nurses. “

National surveys have shown that nearly three-quarters of school nurses report increased anxiety, depression and deterioration in their personal health related to their work in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional responsibility for testing and tracing for COVID-19 has resulted in greater communication with families and the community, as well as more conflict around issues such as vaccinations and quarantine.

“Nurses who work in our public school system have an increasingly important and stressful role,” said Madeline Rivera, program manager at the Community Foundation of New Jersey. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, school nurses must balance the urgent needs caused by the pandemic with other challenges, such as concerns about the increase in youth suicide, the epidemic of opioids, a relative lack of behavioral health services and uneven parental involvement. . Ensuring that our school nurses are themselves supported is essential to the overall health of school systems.

The program will partner with the Morris and Sussex County School Nurses Association and the New Jersey School Nurses Association to reach school nurses in 198 public schools in Morris and Sussex counties.

Those interested in joining the initiative can contact Madeline Rivera, Program Manager at the Community Foundation of New Jersey, at [email protected]

About the New Jersey Community Foundation

With $ 800 million in assets, the Community Foundation of New Jersey creates and scales personalized solutions for motivated individuals, families and businesses. The level of precision of CFNJ’s investment and grant-making capabilities is made possible by a team of specialists who understand the unique contours of communities and can manage the reach of CFNJ’s giving vehicles. From creative projects that address critical societal or political issues to scholarship funds, corporate philanthropy, legacy funds, and donor-advised funds, CFNJ manages nearly any giving vehicle and tailors solutions for meet critical needs. More than 1,100 funds award tens of millions of dollars each year, including $ 100 million in 2021 in New Jersey and beyond.

About the New Jersey Mental Health Association

The Mental Health Association of New Jersey is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to help children and adults conquer mental health and addiction disorders through advocacy rights, education, training and services. Its head office is located in Union County, with additional offices in Atlantic, Hudson and Ocean counties and subsidiaries in Essex, Monmouth, Morris and Passaic counties. For more information, visit https://www.mhanj.org/

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