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An Innovative, Multicultural and Affordable Mental Health and Wellness Center opens its doors in South Jersey to help people affected by COVID-19

An Innovative, Multicultural and Affordable Mental Health and Wellness Center opens its doors in South Jersey to help people affected by COVID-19

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The Con-Vivir Wellness Hub, an initiative of Allies in Caring, will offer free and affordable in-person and virtual counseling and educational programs to foster resilience, promote healing, and bring people together in meaningful interactions. Services will be available in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL.) The Center Opening Celebration will take place on May 20 from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will be on the same day at 11:30 am.

Hammonton, NJ: On Thursday, May 20, a new mental health center for the community will open its doors in South Jersey. The Con-Vivir (Spanish for "living well together") Wellness Hub intends to provide affordable mental health services and information about available resources to people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Born out of nine years of experience providing services to disadvantaged and under-resourced communities, Con-Vivir will offer mental health services to people who frequently do not have access to them due to economic and language barriers. The Center will provide walk-in and virtual services and will be open after regular office hours. Con-Vivir will also offer career development training for un-and underemployed residents who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver; New Jersey Assemblyman: Vince Mazzeo & John Armato; Sara Peña, Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research, and Development; Atlantic County Commissioners: Maureen Kern & Caren L. Fitzpatrick; and Steve DiDonato, Hammonton’s Mayor have confirmed their participation during this event.

All community members are welcome to attend the opening ceremony, take a tour, learn more about the center services, grab some food, become a member, enjoy live music, and participate in collaborative art-making projects. To learn more about this event and RSVP for one of the three available time slots, visit https://www.alliesincaring.org/convivir-wellness-hub

“We designed this space especially for people who face barriers such as difficulties in obtaining mental health services due to stigma, discomfort of requesting help (language or cultural barriers), limited availability of time, lack of childcare, difficulties with transportation, lack of health benefits, and lack of culturally responsive assessment methods and treatment approaches,” said Ivette Guillermo-McGahee, Founder and Executive Director, Allies in Caring.

The Wellness Hub is a reality thanks to the support of people and organizations like NJ Community Capital, Earl Jackson Architecture Workshop, Chappine Construction, LLC, Center for Hispanic Policy Research and Development, Atlantic Blueberry Co., TCC Gives, New Jersey Blueberry Growers, Mullica Cranbassadors, United Universalist Congregation of the SJ Shore, American Cranberry Growers Association, OceanFirst Foundation, Sykes Family Group, Perez-Morris Family, Hammonton Kiwanis Club, Kramer Beverage Co, Steve DiDonato & Family, Eagle Theater, MainStreet Hammonton, Valerie Mattern, Patti Miller, Geoff Stuart, Mayra Hernandez -B, Brian Howell, Esq, and the McGahee Family, among others.

Con-Vivir is an initiative of Allies in Caring, a nonprofit that provides culturally responsive mental health services for diverse populations in South Jersey. They recognize that persisting racial and ethnic disparities in health care are major clinical, public health, and societal problems. Allies in Caring currently leads the Hammonton Health Coalition, a project that New Jersey Health Initiatives selected as one of their grantees.

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