NJ Human Services Awards Contracts to Expand Access to Crisis Services in Morris, Bergen, Essex, Monmouth & Camden Counties 

NJ Human Services Awards Contracts to Expand Access to Crisis Services in Morris, Bergen, Essex, Monmouth & Camden Counties 

New Initiative Will Provide Community-Based Crisis Services to Individuals Experiencing a Behavioral Health Crisis Related to Serious Mental Illness or Substance Use

June 10, 2024

(TRENTON) – Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department has awarded $37 million in contracts to create new Crisis Receiving Stabilization Centers (CRSC) in Morris, Bergen, Essex, Monmouth and Camden counties to provide services to people in need of immediate in-person crisis intervention and stabilization for behavioral health crises.

Contracts of $6.9 million each were awarded to Center for Family Services in Morris County, Care Plus NJ in Bergen County, Rutgers Health, UBHC in Essex County, Monmouth Medical Center in Monmouth County and Legacy Treatment Services in Camden County. Each award includes up to $400,000 in one-time start-up funds for items such as medication refrigerators and furniture to create a safe and welcoming environment; and up to $166,666 in capital funds for acquisition, construction, reconstruction, development, and leasehold improvements. This initiative is funded with state and federal funds.

“These centers offer a no-wrong-door access to crisis stabilization, meaning anyone in distress can go there and get immediate help,” said Commissioner Sarah Adelman. “This initiative continues our efforts to address the three pillars of the 988 continuum of crisis services in New Jersey—someone to call, someone to respond, and somewhere safe to go. These CRSCs, ‘the place to go,’ will expand access to treatment in these counties and connect residents experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis with services and supports to mitigate that crisis.”

CRSCs are facilities that provide short-term (under 24 hours) crisis stabilization services to all referrals in a home-like, non-hospital environment. Walk-ins will be welcome, as well as law enforcement and fire department drop-offs.

The centers will assess individuals 18 years and older who present in a behavioral health crisis associated with a mental health and/or substance use issue. Services provided at CRSCs are designed to alleviate the crisis, reduce symptoms, help restore the individual to a previous level of functioning, and avoid more restrictive levels of treatment whenever possible.

In addition to creating programming that utilizes best practices for interventions in behavioral health crisis intervention, this initiative will also produce cost savings by mitigating the use of emergency rooms, as well as reduce police engagement, arrests, incarcerations, and 911 calls.

“Psychiatric emergency data shows that less than 40 percent of the individuals who go to the emergency room in psychiatric crisis require inpatient treatment,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Renee Burawski, who oversees the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “CRSCs reduce unnecessary visits to the emergency department and hospitalizations by providing alternatives to traditional crisis services. They also help reduce the need for police involvement.”

The Department anticipates centers providing services responsive to the unique needs of each person that seeks assistance, including those with complex needs like social, psychiatric, substance use and/or medical comorbidities.

Organizations will work to identify and combat barriers that impede the target population from seeking and accessing services, collect and analyze data to implement strategies to increase program participation, and ensure that the services provided ensure diversity, inclusion, equity, and cultural and linguistic competence to the target population.

“These centers will provide in-person community-based treatment and supportive services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year,” added Commissioner Adelman. “Around-the-clock help is also available by calling or texting the 988 Lifeline, which connects people in distress with counselors trained to handle suicide, mental health, and substance use crises.”

988 offers live call services in English and in Spanish, and uses language line services to respond in over 250 other languages. 988 chat and texting is available in English and in Spanish. If you or a loved one is in crisis, you can text to 988, and chat 988 at 988lifeline.org/chat.  For New Jersey-specific information about 988, visit here.

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