The Expert Angle

The Expert Angle

At Center For Family Services, staff are recognized as the most valuable and greatest resource. The top workplace team at Center For Family Services consists of highly experienced experts in a variety of fields. Trusted staff are changemakers and thought leaders and are often the leading voice in how services are designed to best serve those in need. 

The Expert Angle offers an outlet for highly talented staff to share their knowledge with you. This forum is a place where content experts share information on topics that most closely resonate with the work they do. The Expert Angle is a collection of blog entries where our staff can explore the various entities of Center For Family Services’ mission and programs from the point of view of an expert in that role. The blog is a platform to help communities, individuals, and other social service professionals to learn and grow. 

The Basics of Belonging: Changing How We Learn

Posted on: May 17, 2023 | By: Dr. June DePonte Sernak , Statewide Diversity Leadership Officer
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and an opportunity to boost our sense of belonging. Imagine being one of those kids who was always punished for talking in class.  Chatting through nap time and having your seat moved away from “friendly” co-conspirators.  After school activities were welcomed to finally share thoughts that were bursting at the seams.  Being alienated from peers causes such loss of a sense of belonging.  When your authentic self was inquisitive searching for like-minded banter…..finding similarities to belong was paramount.  This was my purpose.  As a multicultural person...

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Posted on: April 27, 2023 | By: Amy Romaine, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, ATCS, BC-TMH , Clinical Supervisor, Grief and Traumatic Loss Services
You see it on the news almost every night. You see it on social media on a regular basis. And, unfortunately it hits home for so many people in New Jersey and across the United States. Crime continues to be an issue and it causes a ripple affect across communities. Crime results in loss, grief, and trauma, and alters the lives of so many people. Awareness is one way to work toward change. The amplification of voices in another way to work toward change. This year, the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is April 23-29, 2023. This is an opportunity to educate the community about the rights of...

Let it RAIN: Recognize, Allow, Investigate and Nurture

Posted on: December 14, 2022 | By: Amy Romaine, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, ATCS, BC-TMH , Clinical Supervisor, Grief and Traumatic Loss Services
The holidays are upon us. Time to surf the waves of grief. For some folks, they knew the waves were coming, as the losses have been recent. For others, there was no warning, thinking that the past stays in the past. Grief in unpredictable in that way. Seemingly unrelated moments can trigger a temporary surge of grief. As we continue to adjust to the new normal the pandemic has brought in to our lives, we are realizing how our lives have been forever changed. This may be the first holiday season that feels “back to normal” even though so much has changed over the last several years. Maybe we...

Mental Health Matters: The LGBTQIA+ Community

Posted on: November 8, 2022 | By: Riley Keenan , Program Director, Coordinated Assessment Kaleidoscope Advocate
As we transition into a post pandemic world, we find ourselves frequently discussing the importance of mental health. The time to prioritize mental health is now. However, every individual and community faces unique challenges to their mental health, particularly the LGBTQIA+ community. A report from The Trevor Project showed that 73% of LGBTQIA+ youth report experiencing symptoms of anxiety, 58% report symptoms of depression, and 45% report having seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. According to the US Transgender Survey, 40% of transgender adults have attempted suicide...

Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis? 988 Lifeline is Available to You and Your Loved Ones

Posted on: September 2, 2022 | By: Zero Suicide Committee
The need for an emergency response can often come when we least expect it. When you fall down and can’t get up, you can call 911 for help. When you think someone is breaking into your home, you can call 911 for help. If you have or know someone who has been in a situation like this, you know how important it is to have a life saving service come to your assistance with just the push of three buttons on your phone. But what about mental health crisis’ that arise when we either least expect it? Every year millions of mental health crisis calls are made to 911. While there is a response...

The Power of Resiliency

Posted on: August 30, 2022 | By: Donna Wess, LPC, LCADC , Senior Program Director - Outpatient Zero Suicide Committee
“I can be changed by what happens to me.  But I refuse to be reduced by it.”   –Maya Angelou I love this quote by Maya Angelo. It sheds awareness to the fact that while everyone faces challenges, experiences trauma and goes through difficult situations it does not need to define who you are.   When I think of the people receiving services at Center For Family Services, the one skill that I hope they strengthen is their resilience.  I want the children and adolescents as well as the adults we work with to be resilient.  I want them to be able to cope with all that life might bring.  I want...

Coping with Stress

Posted on: June 27, 2022 | By: Carlos Erazo , Project Coordinator - STOP School Violence
Ever felt stressed out? Did you ever think to yourself,” Oh wow what a week or day!” Everyone faces stress from time to time and being an adult by no means exempts us from feeling a mixture of emotions on a regular basis. When we experience some ups and downs all sorts of emotions may come out and dealing with these big emotions can increase our stress levels to an overwhelming feeling. Long-term stress can build up and cause adverse impacts on our mental health. In the suicide prevention field most of the time professionals focus on everyone else being safe and being in a good mental state...

Checking In On Your Mental Health: Tips and Resources

Posted on: June 9, 2022 | By: Zero Suicide Committee
There is so much going on in the world. Our newsfeeds are overloaded with updates of a lingering pandemic, shortages, the latest political drama, and horrific events taking place around the corner and across the globe. At times, it seems as if we are just getting used to the chaos. But, that doesn’t mean we aren’t impacted in some way. Maybe you have noticed that you aren’t sleeping well, maybe you find that you are easily irritated, or you feel more down than usual.  Maybe you are avoiding your friends and family. Or, maybe, like so many, you just feel overwhelmed. May is Mental Health...

Suicide Risk During Pregnancy and Postpartum

Posted on: May 3, 2022 | By: Heather McBeth, LCSW & The Zero Suicide Committee
Often times we associate depression symptoms as a risk factor for suicide. This is certainly an unfortunate truth but did you know that suicidal ideation is also relatively common among pregnant and postpartum women? When a common person hears of a woman being pregnant you typically associate that as a time of their life in which they are filled with joy and anticipation of meeting their new baby but for some women it can actually be one of the riskiest, and scariest times of their lives as suicide has emerged as one of the leading causes of death among new moms. While it is important to...

Grief In Spring

Posted on: April 20, 2022 | By: Amy Romaine, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, ATCS, BC-TMH , Clinical Supervisor, Grief and Traumatic Loss Services
Spring is often a time of rebirth or renewal. Nature begins its dance towards warmer weather here in the Northeast. People take stock of their homes and often engaging in some kind of “spring cleaning”: dusting off the radiators, cleaning out a pantry, reorganizing a closet. Sometimes folks take a look at their fix-it list and tackle minor repairs that have been lingering for a while. Occasionally those repairs require breaking or taking apart the object in need of repair to assess the root of the problem. There’s often a sense of hope or unburdening in these activities. Hope that the change...