Preferred Behavioral Health Group said it was recently selected by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families to provide mental health services for the New Jersey Statewide Student Support Services Network in Vicinages 9 and 14, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
According to the state, DCF unveiled the NJ4S concept — a first-in-the-nation, statewide student mental wellness support infrastructure to address a surging youth mental health crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the proposed plan, tiered, evidence-based prevention and intervention services to help address and prevent issues such as suicide, teen pregnancy, substance use and bullying will be administered and organized through 15 regional hubs statewide. Services will be delivered locally to students in schools and locally based trusted sites, such as libraries, community centers and more.
Advisory boards, comprised of students, parents, school officials, community and civic leaders and others, will play a role in helping to guide hubs and ensuring they meet the unique needs of the community without replicating or duplicating existing supports.
“Now more than ever, New Jersey students of all ages deserve universal access to mental health services provided by trusted, compassionate professionals,” Dr. Tara Chalakani, CEO of Preferred Behavioral Health Group, said. “With over 45 years of experience serving the community, we are committed to providing the most comprehensive counseling, prevention and wellness services to children and families through the New Jersey Statewide Student Support Services Network.”