Kristin Miller, a professor in the Social Work Department at Seton Hall University, has joined the South Orange Community Care & Justice program as Director of Outreach and Community Wellness.
Miller, who has lived in South Orange for nearly 20 years, will work with clinicians and students at Seton Hall as well as community volunteers and organizations and the South Orange Police Department in coordinating social work, mental health and substance misuse services to local residents.
As part of her duties, Miller will also design policy and programming for the Wellness Outreach initiative as well as a strategic calendar of community Wellness trainings and a mental health resource guide. She will provide supervision to staff and volunteers and outreach and case management support to community members while working with police to leverage research and strategize prevention.
A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Miller created and teaches Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice at Seton Hall and says she is "committed to helping individuals heal, grow, and reach their full potential," and especially committed to "promoting social justice, especially as related to racism and race-based trauma."
"The Community Care & Justice program will help align the various service structures within the town and the county to more effectively serve the needs of the people," said Miller. "In looking through the numbers, it becomes apparent that the Village is engaged at times in what is often referred to as ‘wrong pocket' problems – with police responding repeatedly to calls of a nature that lend themselves more readily to housing, social work, substance misuse and counseling professionals addressing systemic issues in a systemic way."
The Community Care & Justice program was initiated by South Orange Village President Sheena Collum and is a collaboration between the South Orange community, Seton Hall University and Essex County. The initiative seeks to "reimagine" traditional models of law enforcement through the larger lens of public safety and wellness with a greater emphasis on crisis prevention. The program is led by Trustee Donna Coallier, chair of the Village's Health and Public Safety Committee, and Dr. Juan Rios, Director of Seton Hall University's Master of Social Work program.
"We're honored and pleased to have Kristin Miller on board as part of the Community Care & Justice program," said Professor Rios. "As we're coming to the final stages of our assessment of community needs here in South Orange, we're getting ready to roll out with ‘boots on the ground.' And her experience as a clinical supervisor, therapist, professor and a trainer of trainers will allow us to offer our residents a fuller spectrum of mental health and wellness options."
Trustee Coallier agreed, "Addressing public safety concerns with wellness programs can benefit everyone. Those in need receive services better suited to their circumstances, delivered with the right professional credentials. Our taxpayers are not left paying for recurring 'emergency' services to treat ailments that are better addressed proactively. Here in South Orange, we're committed to aligning our public safety and wellness spend with the 'right' pockets – and Kristin Miller coming on board as Community Outreach and Wellness Director is a major step toward achieving that alignment."
Kristin Miller, LCSW earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Bucknell University and her Masters in Social Work at Columbia University. She has more than 19 years of experience providing therapeutic services to children, adolescents, and adults. She provides training and consulting services to social service agencies, schools, universities, corporations, and churches; she also provides individual therapy to adolescents and adults. In addition, she is the co-founder and CEO of Mosaic Counseling & Consulting LLC, a group practice which provides individual, group, and family therapy, support groups, and workshops. She is a sought-after speaker and has created and presented numerous workshops and trainings for various organizations including the National Association of Social Workers as well as Rutgers University and Seton Hall University. She is also a volunteer trainer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Ms. Miller's areas of expertise include: racism and race-based trauma, depression, suicide prevention and awareness, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, attachment and relationship issues, and faith-based counseling. She provides creative and culturally competent therapeutic services, as well as training and consulting services to mental health professionals, social service professionals and education professionals.