Public Info

Union County Holds Its First-Ever “Stepping Up to Mental Health Summit” on May 18th

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce that the UC STEP Civic Engagement Project for this year will be a “Stepping Up to Mental Health Summit.” Unlike previous years, Union County has decided to combine all three projects into one powerhouse initiative. The summit is scheduled to take place on May 18th at Oak Ridge Park, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Further event details to follow.

“We are so proud of the dedication and creativity demonstrated by our high school students. The collaborative project they worked on this year is a great example of the power of teamwork in improving mental health and well-being,” said Commissioner Chairwoman and Liaison to the Mental Health Advisory Board, Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “The students’ ideas were innovative and thoughtful, and have the potential to benefit so many people in our community. Witnessing such inspiring teamwork among our young people is remarkable, and we are excited to see the positive impact this project will have on our community.”

Thanks to the extraordinary responses from our community, ideas presented by teams Light Green, Gold and Maroon will be featured as key components of the final community engagement project- the first ever Union County Stepping Up to Mental Health Summit.

Team Light Green’s idea of hosting a mental health summit will be the main feature of our culminating event. Other activities, including team Maroon’s Embrace(let)s project that focuses on embracing feelings whether they are good or bad will be included at the summit. Participants will make bracelets to spread mental health awareness to emphasize that “it’s okay to not be okay.” To honor Team Gold’s project, Union County will create an online resource portal connecting our youth to mental health resources. By making resources readily available online, we can empower individuals to take proactive steps towards managing their mental health.

Each of the three projects presented at UC STEP address different aspects of mental health and in raising awareness. By pursuing all three initiatives simultaneously, our hope is to create a more holistic strategy that addresses the diverse needs of individuals struggling with mental health challenges.

Students will still have a chance to win the $1,000 START NOW Grant from the Union County Board of County Commissioners.

For more information, please contact Judith Guest, Community Engagement & Diversity Coordinator at (908) 527-4388 or via email at

For more information about UC-STEP, please visit