Post Eagle Newspaper


Dec 6, 2023

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

Time Now


Felician Becomes A
Stigma-Free Zone

Rutherford, NJ — Felician University proudly joined the mental health stigma-free movement at a kick-off event held on its Rutherford campus. The event was fittingly held in May, as May is designated as mental health awareness month.

Featured speakers were former Governor and current State Senator Richard Codey, Bergen County Executive James Tedesco, Rutherford Councilwoman Dr. Stephanie McGowan and East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella. They shared the painful stories of family members or friends who have suffered with mental illness and the stigma that goes along with it. In addition, Alexandra Frontin, a Bergen Community College student, recounted her personal journey dealing with depression and anxiety.

“This day is the start of a new initiative here at Felician,” said Sharon McNulty, director of Counseling Services. “We are committed to all students suffering with mental illness to be free to seek help without fear of judgement.”

The Stigma-Free movement is the brainchild of The Codey Fund for Mental Health, established in 2012 by Governor Richard Codey and his wife Mary Jo. The program aims to eliminate the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health illness–the biggest barrier between the people suffering with mental health disorders and the treatment that can change their lives. Felician is the eighth New Jersey university to be designated as a stigma-free zone.

Photo caption: L to R: Michele Hart-Loughlin, division director, Bergen County Dept. of Health Services Division of Mental Health; Dr. Stephanie McGowan, councilwoman, borough of Rutherford; James Tedesco, Bergen County Executive; James Cassella, mayor, East Rutherford; Richard Codey, NJ state senator; Dr. Anne Prisco, president, Felician University; and Alexandra Frontin, student, Bergen Community College.

About Felician University

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Felician University – with campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, NJ – is a Catholic Franciscan University founded and sponsored by the Felician Sisters in 1942.  Felician offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in Arts and Sciences, Business, Nursing and Teacher Education. In 2015, the University was ranked by Money Magazine as one of America’s Top Colleges and also listed among Money’s top 25 private colleges for merit aid.  For more information, visit