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SERV featured in NJAMHAA newsletter

The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies recently featured SERV Behavioral Health System in its February 2015 newsletter. The feature story, written by Shauna Moses on the occasion of SERV's 40th anniversary, is titled "SERV Collaborates with Consumers to Build their Wellness and Independence."

To read the article, click here.

Three new board members join SERV

SERV Behavioral Health System, Inc. welcomed three new board members in January. Kenneth Kinter and John J. O'Neill both joined the board of SERV Centers of New Jersey and Barbara A. Byrne joined the SERV BHS board.

John J. O'Neill, a resident of Tinton Falls, N.J., is Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead. His professional affiliations include the American Hospital Association, the N.J. Hospital Association, the N.J. Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, the National Alliance of Mental Illness-New Jersey, the National Association of Psychiatric Healthcare Facilities, and the N.J. Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

John ONeillJohn J. O'NeillMr. O'Neill is an alumnus of Montclair State University with a bachelor's degree in psychology.

He has served as a member of the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse-Treatment Committee, 1995; New Jersey Partners: Aging, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse; Middlesex County Mental Health Professional Advisory Council; Middlesex County Mental Health Board, PAC representative, 1998; Monmouth County Inter-Agency Coordinating Council, 1999; Professional Liaison Association Chairperson, 2002-2004; National Independent Living Association (NILA), Washington, DC-Chairperson Board of Directors, 1995-1998; NILA, Washington, DC, Vice-chair, 1997-1998; National Advisory Committee on Youth Services-Child Welfare League of America, Washington DC-committee member; Statewide Council of Independent Living Services-Chairperson, 1998; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau-Grant Reviewer, 1997.

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Kenneth Kinter, LPC, is an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Health Related Professions. He is a member of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals.

Mr. Kinter received a bachelor's degree from Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and a master's degree in counseling psychology at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J. He currently is in a doctoral program in education at Rowan University in Glassboro.

He has received two awards from The New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association: Employee of the Year (2008) and Educator of the Year (2014).

Mr. Kinter is a resident of Hamilton, N.J.

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Barbara ByrneBarbara Byrne Barbara A. Byrne, CPA, is a manager with Rahl & Associates, PC in Newtown, Pa. Her professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the N.J. State Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Ms. Byrne is an alumna of The College of New Jersey with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in accounting.

She is a member of the Newtown Business Association and a volunteer for the nonprofit organization, Anna's Army, Inc.

In 2002, she received the Exemplary Volunteer of the Year Award from the Mid-Jersey County Chamber of Commerce. She also participated in the MidJersey Chamber of Commerce's Golf Committee and the Women in Business Committee.

Ms. Byrne is a resident of Manalapan, N.J.

SERV is featured in The Times of Trenton

SERV Behavioral Health System, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, was featured on Page 1 of The Times of Trenton on Sunday, Nov. 23.

The article, written by Annabel Lau, can be read here.

Editorial cartoonist draws attention to mental illness during Conference

On Oct. 11, more than 260 SERV Behavioral Health System consumers from 10 New Jersey counties participated in the 12th Annual Recovery NJ Conference, where they were able to not only enjoy the camaraderie of fellow consumers, but also attend fun and educational workshops geared toward their recovery needs.

Sponsored by SERV free-of-charge for all of our residents and day program consumers, the daylong health-and-wellness event began with a continental breakfast and featured 10 Recovery & Wellness workshops led by SERV staff members as well as outside volunteers. Some consumers' family members also came out to the event to network with other families.

All 420+ people in attendance at The Pines Manor in Edison enjoyed a sit-down luncheon prior to the keynote address and received a goody bag with a black fleece neck scarf embroidered with the SERV logo.

The topics of the workshops presented at the conference were selected earlier in the year by consumers who were planning to attend. They requested to repeat seven popular workshops from previous years and to add three new workshops, which were "Yoga and Relaxation," "How to Cope with Loss and Loneliness" and "Music and Dance." The other workshops were "Nutrition/Better Food Choices," "Money Matters," "Living Well Through the Years (for ages 50+)," "Look Good/Feel Great," "Hobbies," "Social Skills and Relationships" and "Medication and Recovery."

Scott Nychay speaks 3Keynote speaker Scott Nychay talks about his recovery from mental illness while drawing illustrtions for the overhead screen.
This year's keynote speaker was Scott Nychay, who traveled from Chicago to present his message of recovery from mental illness. A former award-winning editorial cartoonist, Mr. Nychay was diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He spoke to the audience about his life of ups and downs, while illustrating these moments through drawings from an iPad to overhead video screen.

"I thought the speaker was great," said one attendee. "I bought his book! His story made me realize how someone with such challenges as he had/has, can, with great support, turn his life around. He made me feel grateful for many things in my life."

Currently, Mr. Nychay has his own studio and speaks with organizations about using art to manage co-occurring disorders. His clients have included the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; National Coalition for the Homeless, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance; Suicide Awareness Voices of Education; and Microsoft.

Mr. Nychay attended Drake University, Poynter Institute for Media Studies, and received his B.A. degree from Columbia College.

His work has appeared on CBS, NBC and in USA Today. He is the recipient of more than 20 honors, including first in the nation from the Associated Press Sports Editors and the John Fischetti Finalist Award.

After his keynote address, Mr. Nychay was available in the lobby to sign copies of his first graphic novel, "Drawing Strength."

The annual Recovery NJ Conference could not have been as successful without the support and participation of our sponsors, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and ExactCare Pharmacy; the staff members and volunteers who offered their expertise to lead the workshops; workshop monitors and registration staff; and finally the committee members from all regions who worked for months planning and executing the event.