Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org 

Joseph Clark, Jr. (O) 609-272-6318, joseph.clarkjr@atlanticare.org

For Immediate Release:  May 11, 2018

Students encourage each other to stay positive by sharing Messages of Hope

AtlantiCare’s school-based programs commemorate National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day


“You are not too broken to be healed,” was among the messages students shared Thursday as AtlantiCare Behavioral Health (ABH) held its second annual Messages of Hope event. ABH’s school-based programs’ participants put chalk to pavement to commemorate the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association’s Awareness Day 2018, May 10. The theme of Awareness Day 2018 was “Partnering for Health and Hope following Trauma.” The event was one of the ways ABH is marking Mental Health Month.

Students who use ABH’s Youth and Teen centers at Buena Regional’s Middle and High schools, Teen Center at Atlantic City High School, and Teen Center at Oakcrest High School, participated by writing messages of hope on sidewalks outside of the schools.

Messages Buena students shared included:

  • “No rain, no Flowers.”
  • “Your struggle is part of your story.”
  • “Just keep swimming.”
  • “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls.”

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Atlantic City students’ messages included:

  • “It won’t last forever, you’ll get through it.”
  • “Someone will always be there if you need to talk.”
  • “Keep pushing, don’t give up, you’ve got this.”
  • “Start each day with a grateful heart. Stay positive.”

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Oakcrest students’ messages included:

  • “Rise above your fear.”
  • “Pain is real but so is hope.”
  • “At some point you have to realize, some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life.”
  • This is my life… my story…. my book.  I will no longer let anyone else write it; nor will I apologize for the edits I make.”

227In addition to sharing their messages of hope through chalk, Oakcrest students created a quilt with their messages. It will hang in the lobby of the school during Mental Health Month.

2NDFLOOR, a confidential and anonymous helpline for New Jersey’s youth and young adults, supplied ABH with the chalk. ABH will share many of its photos with 2NDFLOOR to be included on the organization’s online gallery of support messages.

About National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and to show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth. Awareness Day 2018’s national focus is on the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth, and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders. The 2018 national theme is “Partnering for Help and Hope.” Communities, national collaborating organizations, and federal programs across the country are busy planning local Awareness Day 2018 activities and events.


About AtlantiCare Behavioral Health’s School-based Programs

AtlantiCare Behavioral Health operates school-based programs in Atlantic City High School; Buena Regional High and Middle schools; and Oakcrest High School. A New Jersey Department of Children and Families grant funds these programs. ABH provides core services in schools, including employment, mental health, substance abuse, and learning support services; as well as recreational/social and family-involvement activities. The centers, located in each school, are open to all students Monday through Friday throughout the school year and throughout the summer. Program staff includes a licensed mental health clinician and other support staff at each site.

For more information about AtlantiCare, visit www.atlanticare.org, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000, or find AtlantiCare on Facebook.




AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,400 employees and more than 700 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.

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