7th annual Recovery Conference

Hundreds of N.J. residents with severe mental illness and/or developmental disabilities attend SERV Recovery NJ Conference

The SERV Foundation of SERV Behavioral Health System Inc., headquartered in Ewing, N.J., recently sponsored its 7th annual “Recovery NJ Conference” for SERV’s consumers throughout the state, their families and outside healthcare professionals.

More than 400 people attended the free conference on May 16 at the Hyatt Regency-New Brunswick. Each year, this conference strives to give people with severe mental illness (such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia) and/or developmental disabilities and their family members the opportunity to network, gain encouragement, and learn the tools needed to recover and find complete wellness.

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Consumer becomes first part-time employee with SERV’s maintenance department

Greg stands outside a group home in Middlesex County, where he is working on painting the dining room. He is the first SERV consumer to be hired as a permanent part-time employee with SERV’s maintenance department.

Dressed in his navy blue Yankees hooded sweatshirt and jeans, Greg H. is not too concerned about getting drops of pink ceiling paint on them.

In fact, he remains free of any splatters as he dips the long-handled roller into the pink paint and applies it to the ceiling of the dining room at SERV’s group home in Middlesex County. He explains that while the paint looks pink in the bucket while wet, it will turn white as it dries on the ceiling. This makes it easier to see if you’ve missed any spots.

Painting is just one of his many jobs as a part-time maintenance worker for SERV Behavioral Health System, Inc. Greg, the 37-year-old who once was good enough to play baseball with the minors, today is happy to have permanent part-time employment doing the same work he did as a “resident maintenance helper” for 18 months with SERV.

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Supporting mom and baby is a first for SERV

Helena hugs her daughter MaryAnna during the baby’ christening in early March.

“Good morning, SERV Behavioral Health System. This is Helena. May I help you?”

The cheery greeting comes through loud and clear over the phone as Helena P. readies to direct the incoming call to the Progressive Achievement Center in Ewing, N.J.

As SERV Achievement Center’s part-time receptionist for the Progressive Achievement Center (PAC), Helena, 26, keeps post and greets visitors at the nonprofit organization that has employed her since last December for two 5-hour days a week.  

Her familiarity with the Center is apparent as she moves from various offices to the PAC Thrift Store and back to her front-office desk. Indeed, the Center is her second home not only because she has been an employee for the past few months, but also because she has been a SERV consumer since June 2007.

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Racks at PAC

SERV has grand opening of thrift store to fund field trips for consumers of its Progressive Achievement Center

 The Progressive Achievement Center of SERV Behavioral Health System Inc. held a Grand Opening Feb. 9 for its “Racks At PAC” Thrift/convenience store at 380 Scotch Road in Ewing.

The thrift store will have donated home décor items, as well as handmade gift boxes, photo frames, tie-dyed T-shirts and special- occasion items created by SERV’s consumers with developmental disabilities in the Arts & Crafts class, with assistance from PAC staff. Store hours open to the public are 10-11 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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