I hope everyone has had the chance to view the new photos NASA released from the James Webb Space Telescope that showed the “deepest and sharpest infrared images of our universe that have ever been taken”.
This is a major and historic feat in science and it is exciting for all of us to look forward to what we may learn next. In their own words, “The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.”
GOV. MURPHY UPDATE
Beginning this Saturday, it will be easier for New Jerseyans to reach mental health help and services by channeling the existing five hotlines in the state through the new 988 emergency number. The new number will have both calling and texting capabilities.
The state budget Gov. Murphy signed into law last month included $29 million for call line infrastructure and follow-up treatment services, $16 million of which will be used to create a new mobile response team that will be available around the clock and led by a licensed mental health clinician and without police involvement.
Suicide rates have been rising for a long time, and the demand for mental health services have only grown throughout the COVID pandemic. There is about one death by suicide in America every 11 minutes, about 12 million people report seriously considering suicide each year, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness also estimates more than 1 million adults in New Jersey alone have a mental health condition and that 61.4% of young people ages 12-to 17-years-old with depression did not receive treatment. This move will hopefully allow us to continue to reimagine how we handle mental and behavioral health issues in a way that saves lives and provides help when and how people need it most.
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE SPOTLIGHT
Raised in a union household, Matt Jenkins earned his degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Rutgers University. Matt did medical research for a number of years before creating a General Contract Business building homes in the Tri-state area. He now works in corporate wellness and is running to unseat Congressman Chris Smith who was first elected to Congress in 1980–you read that correctly. Congressman Chris Smith has held this seat for over forty years. It’s time for a new direction in Central Jersey.
Matt believes in the power of public education and supports families in New Jersey. He is running to protect women’s access to healthcare, lower Rx drug prices, bring economic development to Central Jersey, expand healthcare for veterans, expand Medicare and work to eliminate our fossil fuel dependencies.
Learn more here: mattjenkinsforcongress.com
PRESIDENT BIDEN UPDATE
Last Friday, President Biden signed an Executive Order that defends reproductive rights by:
- Safeguarding access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception
- Protecting the privacy of patients and their access to accurate information
- Promoting the safety and security of patients, providers, and clinics
- Coordinating the implementation of federal efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to healthcare
This week, Health & Human Services rolled out several of the steps they are taking to ensure people’s access to reproductive healthcare, including launching ReproductiveRights.gov a public awareness website that clearly lays out every person’s right to birth control, medication, and abortion services with further information on how to find access. HHS also released guidance to providers stating that if an abortion is necessary to save a pregnant person’s life or prevent serious jeapoardy to the patient’s health, the federal laws protecting emergency care supersede any state law prohibiting abortion.
This was a critical step to take in this moment as we watch some states rush to make it as hard as possible or completely impossible for people to safely receive reproductive healthcare – including abortion. With Senate Republicans refusing to pass bills protecting a person’s right to travel to another state for a legal abortion, Republican governors rushing to ban abortions in any instance, and the horror stories of pregnant child rape victims – we need to be taking as much concrete action as we can to protect the fundamental human right to control over our own bodies.
— Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr.
P.S. Our Veterans Caucus Kick-Off event is coming up! Find more details here!