Preferred Behavioral Health Group Selected to Provide Mental Health Services for NJ4S Network in Monmouth and Ocean Counties

Preferred Behavioral Health Group Selected to Provide Mental Health Services for NJ4S Network in Monmouth and Ocean Counties

PBHG to provide Student Wellness and Prevention Services in Regional Schools, Libraries and Community Centers


LAKEWOOD — Preferred Behavioral Health Group has been selected by the State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJ DCF) to provide mental health services for the New Jersey Statewide Student Support Services Network (NJ4S) in Vicinages 9 and 14, Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

According to the state, NJ 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,” said Dr. Tara Chalakani, CEO of Preferred Behavioral Health Group.  “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.”


Founded in 1978, PBHG’s mission is to deliver quality and compassionate behavioral health services to individuals and families through a Trauma Informed Care philosophy and approach. With a focus on the values of compassion, honesty, accountability, integrity, respect, and cultural competence, PBHG strives to be a center of excellence that focuses on innovative wellness through compassionate care. PBHG changes lives and saves lives through a strengths-based approach, helping individuals achieve their full potential and enhancing their quality of life. In 2017, PBHG became an affiliate of Oaks Integrated Care.


NJ4S was designed as an evolution of the existing 86 School-Based Youth Services (SBYS) programs, funded in whole or in part by DCF, to offer statewide reach and the delivery of wellness and prevention services.

More information about the NJ4S Concept and background and materials which supported the development of the concept can be found at

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