Mental Health Summit

Union County partners with the Kimberly Anne Wilson Foundation on first-ever Stepping Up to Mental Health Summit on Saturday, September 21st

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is excited to announce the partnership of the Kimberly Anne Wilson Foundation with Union County for the upcoming UC STEP Civic Engagement Project, “Stepping Up to Mental Health Summit”. The summit will be held on September 21st at Oak Ridge Park from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Any funds raised by students during the course of this project will be donated to the Kimberly Anne Wilson Foundation.

“We are honored to have established a significant partnership with the Kimberly Anne Wilson Foundation for this event. It’s heartening to see how the foundation turned a painful loss into a source of hope for countless individuals who suffer silently with mental health challenges,” said Commissioner Chairwoman and Liaison to the Mental Health Advisory Board, Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Our goal with these events is to ensure that anyone who may be struggling with their mental health has access to the necessary resources and community support, and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this cause. I look forward to seeing you there and being a part of this journey together.”

The Kimberly Anne Wilson Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that was established in 2018 to honor and carry forward their daughter/sister Kim’s legacy of caring and giving to those who struggled with mental health challenges. Kim tragically passed away in 2017 at the age of 24 before she had a chance to fulfill her dream of having a career in mental health counseling. She firmly believed and genuinely cared that those who face mental health challenges should be encouraged to feel comfortable with opening up about their feelings and treated with non-judgment, support, and compassion. The Kimberly Anne Wilson Foundation carries forward this legacy in her honor and hopes to deliver the change she envisioned for others.

The Kimberly Anne Wilson Foundation believes in the benefits of mental health wellness through the use of different modalities. Creative wellness practices such as self-expression through art and music can have a therapeutic effect on an individual’s mental health. In-school pet visits from certified animal therapy teams can also provide healing comfort to students.

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

Please register using the form below. This information is needed if there is a change in the event i.e. bad weather.

We will be making a decision on Thursday, September 19th if the event will go on as planned, in the event of bad weather we will contact you. Please use a computer/tablet to easily view session descriptions.

Session Descriptions

This session will provide participants with an expressive outlet for emotional release, self-expression, and stress reduction through guided movement and dance, promoting mental well-being as part of a holistic approach to mental health.

By participating in their own art project, participants will explore the transformative power of Art Therapy, learning how it benefits both themselves and others.

Dive into creative expression while uncovering the profound impacts it has on personal growth and understanding.

Embark on a journey of personal growth and self-discovery in the workshop, ‘Mandalas: Drawing and Analyzing Your Inner World ‘. Participants will learn how to draw these intricate patterns, which can reveal insights into personal emotions and subconscious thoughts.

Through guided analysis, the goal is to help participants find a calming, reflective space for self-expression and understand how to use this practice for emotional regulation and mindfulness. 

Step into the therapeutic world of sand play therapy in this inclusive and supportive session. Participants will select figures and craft a scene within the sandtray, using these scenes to explore thoughts and emotions.

Each session is carefully designed to uncover subconscious patterns and provide a non-verbal way to process personal experiences safely. All figures remain available to support everyone’s creative process during the workshop.

This interactive session aims to create a supportive environment for teens to share their mental health journeys.

Participants will uncover and express their emotions, challenges, and strengths by exploring thought-provoking questions such as ‘What is one thing you wish others understood about your mental health?’ and ‘How do you cope with stress? ‘.

The goal is to foster more profound empathy and open communication among teens, their peers, and families, strengthening mutual support networks.

We all at times wear masks to keep ourselves safe, to hide the places where we have been hurt.

What happens to our mental health when we never show who we really are or what’s really going on with us?

Come and learn more about the masks we live in.

In this breakout session, students will learn how to identify and create different positive coping skills and strategies to help them rediscover hope during difficult times, while also learning to ask for help when experiencing a mental health challenge.

Enjoy Creature Comfort Pet Therapy and a Gratitude Wall.

No registration required to visit this session.

To provide participants with an interactive and therapeutic experience through rhythmic expression, group collaboration, and creative exploration using drums and percussion instruments, fostering emotional well-being and community connection as part of a mental health event.

To promote positivity, boost self-esteem, and foster a supportive environment through a fun and engaging activity.

This session is a creative outlet for self-expression and mindfulness while promoting mental well-being through the creation of personalized bracelets

This session will provide participants with a guided yoga practice aimed at promoting relaxation, stress reduction, and emotional well-being as part of a comprehensive mental health event.

Registration Form