CarePlus NJ awarded 2 grants for early psychosis treatment programs 

Care Plus New Jersey said it was recently awarded two grants to implement Coordinated Specialty Care & Community Integration Services, or CSC & CI, for Early Serious Mental Illness, or ESMI, in Bergen and Morris counties.

Funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the program will treat youth and adults ages 15 and older who have experienced psychotic symptoms through a comprehensive service model that includes 24-hour accessible recovery support in the community and the clinical setting.

The Bergen County program will service Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic counties, while the Morris County program will treat those in Morris, Sussex, Hunterdon and Warren counties. For the Morris County treatment facility, CarePlus NJ will partner with Integrity House.

The programs will build off CarePlus NJ’s proven track record of delivering recovery-focused, person-centered care. The Coordinated Specialty Care & Community Integration program aims to fundamentally change the trajectory and prognosis of mental illness through coordinated and timely identification of and treatment in the prodrome, acute or early recovery phases of psychosis symptoms.

Implementation of Coordinated Specialty Care & Community Integration services reduces the likelihood of long-term disability that people with psychosis often experience. Early psychosis and ESMI can have a profound impact on the families or loved ones of clients, so understanding family members’ highly individual experiences and providing tailored interventions is crucial in supporting their stress and concerns while helping the client through treatment. This model aims to help youth and young adults with the disorder lead productive, independent lives, achieving their goals for school, work and relationships.

“These grants signify a crucial investment in mental health care, as well as a reinforcement of our commitment to transforming lives and communities through comprehensive, compassionate treatment,” Brigitte Johnson, CEO and president of CarePlus NJ, said. “We are incredibly grateful to DMHAS for these grants, which will enable us to further our Coordinated Specialty Care services in Northern New Jersey, and we are pleased to be able to provide essential services to individuals in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Morris, Sussex, Hunterdon and Warren counties experiencing serious mental illness.”

In Bergen County, CarePlus NJ has offered Coordinated Specialty Care since 2016 and has provided services to over 400 youth and young adults across Northern New Jersey.

The Morris County program will be implemented by CarePlus NJ along with Integrity House, one of the state’s oldest and largest providers of integrated mental health and substance use care. Integrity House has a long-established presence in Morris County, allowing CarePlus NJ and Integrity House to quickly and efficiently coordinate facilities and resources.

“The Coordinated Specialty Care model is a proven early intervention service that can significantly improve individuals’ quality of life while promoting better social and clinical outcomes,” Robert Budsock, CEO and president of Integrity House, said. “We are proud to expand our deep and longstanding relationship with CarePlus NJ to deliver these services to Morris County residents in need.”

In Morris County, the Morris County Needs Assessment conducted by the New Jersey Department of Human Services reported a serious lack of resources despite increasing suicidal ideation, anxiety and depression in the adolescent population.