BERNARDSVILLE – The non-profit Community in Crisis (CiC) group will relaunch the Family Connections Support Group, its bi-weekly support group, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12.
The group offers counseling, practical advice, coping strategies and peer support to family members and friends of a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder.
It will meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month in a welcoming, stigma-free environment. Meetings will be offered in person at CiC’s Community Hub, 9 Church St., Bernardsville, and, concurrently, virtually. The group is being offered free of charge thanks to a grant from the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.
It will be led by Jane Coyle, a Harding Township resident with extensive experience in family addiction counseling. All are welcome.
According to CiC, it’s widely recognized that substance use disorder not only negatively impacts the individual but, also, the family and close friends. Addiction is often referred to as a family disease, where all family members navigate a roller coaster of emotions, not knowing for sure what to do or say and how to best help their loved one seek help and find a healthier lifestyle.
“We are grateful to be able to offer this much-needed support group again,” said Ken Musgrove, CiC’s director of recovery support. “When you look at the tragic loss of more than 100,000 loved ones to overdose – our mothers, fathers, sons and daughters – in a 12-month period, we know the need is there.
“We want to be able to help families navigate the oftentimes tortuous path of their loved one’s use, to build the best possible environment and surroundings to support their loved one’s recovery, and to give families hope and comfort during such challenging times,” he added. “Jane is warm, understanding and compassionate, and can help family members prioritize on their own mental health and happiness in order to better support their loved one’s path to recovery.”
“The Covid-19 pandemic brought with it isolation, restrictions, job loss and poor economic conditions, all stressors further taxing those with mental illness or addiction challenges,” Coyle said. “There are a lot of people hurting out there, many of them behind closed doors and under a veil of wellbeing.
“It doesn’t have to be that way. We can help family members focus first and foremost on their own needs and wellbeing, including healthy eating, getting enough sleep and physical activity, interacting with friends and pursuing hobbies they enjoy, while equipping them with tools to support their loved one. I am delighted to join the CiC team and add this support group to their suite of community-focused resources.”
CiC is a community-wide coalition of volunteers, community group leaders, law enforcement, clergy, medical professionals, mental health experts, local government officials and school representatives working together to combat the ever-growing epidemic with programming, awareness and education about substance use disorder.
CiC also offers an array of programs, meetings and sober social opportunities to individuals in and seeking recovery.