Three SERV Centers employees receive NJPRA Award

The New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association recently honored three SERV Centers of New Jersey employees who have demonstrated outstanding abilities, achievements and commitment to SERV.

Kathleen Karmazin, a residential program manager at the Mercer office; and Marasri Muthikul and Janice Rainford, coordinators of Passaic County’s residential services, each received a Certificate of Recognition at NJPRA’s Annual Recognition Dinner on June 9 at the Radisson Hotel in Freehold.

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8th annual Recovery Conference

Stress-reducing laughter is focus of Recovery Conference

“Lighten up – jest for the health of it!”

This pun-ful advice was the parting message from keynote speaker Dr. Paul McGhee to nearly 400 people as he capped off an afternoon of belly laughs and hysterical antics during the 8th annual SERV Recovery NJ Conference on April 17 at the Pines Manor in Edison.

SERV consumers and their families, staff and outside healthcare professionals learned that a good old belly laugh can reduce stress, provide muscle relaxation, and ease psychological tensions.

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Family Care Provider opens her home to recovering women

Pearl Hadley, center, a family care provider with SERV Centers of New Jersey-Hudson County, is flanked by two of the three SERV consumers who live in her home in Jersey City – Elsie, left, and Rosa.

“Eighteen years have come and gone since mama passed away …But, now I’m with Ms. Hadley. What a wonderful lady – no more rags, (I have) nice suits, dresses and pants. I get to travel and have cookouts and go to church with her. She cooks, I clean, but get compensated for it. No more depression or laziness.”

— Excerpt from “The Hadley Residence,” a composition from “Reflections” by Elsie W., a consumer with SERV Centers Hudson County

In her tidy home on a one-way street in Jersey City, Pearl Hadley provides the kind of nurturing home that makes it simple to see why one of the three SERV consumers for whom Miss Hadley cares summons up a motherly image of her in her “Reflections” booklet about recovery.

Miss Hadley, as she is called by the women who live in her home, is a family care provider in SERV Centers-Hudson County’s Therapeutic Foster Care program, a role she feels blessed to have found since she retired from her job as an assistant treasurer in a bank in Jersey City. As a family care provider for SERV, Miss Hadley is required to not only provide training, personal guidance, food and shelter to the women in her care, but also comfort, warmth and acceptance.

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Former chauffer is back in the driver’s seat

Bernard J

As an executive chauffer for many years, Bernard J. traveled many roads.

However, for this 59-year-old man who battled Paranoid Schizophrenia, it was the road to recovery that perhaps was the most difficult to navigate.

The “friendly” voices in Bernard’s head would give him directions to destinations in northern New Jersey and New York where his employer needed to go, and at times he’d have to whisper to them, “I have this. I know where I’m going.”

Another trio of voices would tell him to “play it again” when he performed solo jazz standards on his saxophone at a restaurant in Newark, and then compliment him on his performance. During his 20-minute breaks, he would sit in his car and chat with them.

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