Behavioral health nonprofit merges into mental health organization

A pair of New Jersey mental health nonprofits have joined forces in a merger, as COPE Center has become part of the Oaks Integrated Care family of services, the two announced Tuesday.

COPE Center, headquartered in Montclair and serving Essex County, helps people overcome challenges involving drugs, alcohol, family and AIDS. The name stands for Counseling, Outreach, Prevention and Education.

Oaks Integrated Care, which has 25 locations in the state, primarily in Central and South Jersey, serves individuals living with mental illness and developmental disabilities. It said the new partnership will extend its geographic reach in the northern part of the state.

“We’re thrilled to welcome COPE Center to our family of services,” Derry Holland, CEO of Oaks Integrated Care, said in a prepared statement. “Individuals and families facing addiction and mental health health challenges in our communities need our help now more than ever. Together, we can offer a stronger continuum of care, improve access to services and, ultimately, create greater impact to meet the growing need.”

The state and both organizations’ boards have approved the merger.

“I could not be more excited about the partnership,” Diana Fennelly, COPE’s board president, said in a statement. “The merger is a positive progression for our organization and represents our strong commitment to the people we serve in Essex County. I wholeheartedly believe that joining forces will enhance our mission, advance best practices and create a greater impact to meet the growing needs of our community.”