CarePlus Awarded $2M Federal Grant for Expansion of Mental Health and Addiction Services

Funding Will Expand CarePlus’ Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Services in Bergen County, Increasing Access to Integrated Care

Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus”), a pioneer in integrated primary and behavioral health services for adults and children, announced it has been awarded a $2M federal grant over two years totaling $4M from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which will support the expansion of its Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) services in Bergen County. CarePlus is one of just three New Jersey CCBHCs to be awarded the funding which was announced Thursday, September 13th by U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker.

As a CCBHC, CarePlus is currently participating in a two-year federal demonstration project that provides a comprehensive range of addiction and mental health services to individuals in need through the Excellence in Mental Health Act. The $4M grant from SAMHSA will fund the opening of a new service hub in CarePlus’ Hasbrouck Heights location, increasing access to comprehensive and coordinated treatment for individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders.

“It’s estimated that there are 189,681 adults and 8,445 children in Bergen County with a mental illness, yet nearly 57% of these individuals did not receive treatment in the past year,” said Tara Augustine, COO of CarePlus. “Although we’ve made substantial progress in the first year of the CCBHC federal demonstration project, serving over 3,500 individuals, there is still unmet need due to a shortage in psychiatrists and limited capacity due to recent funding cuts. The CCBHC Expansion will support our new service hub, which will allow us to reach more individuals in underserved populations.”

The CCBHC Expansion will focus on individuals who fall into the following underserved populations: children with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED), adults with Serious Mental Illness (SMI), individuals with Substance Use Disorders (SUD’s) including opioid dependence, and individuals with Co-Occurring Disorders (COD’s), with an emphasis on veterans and justice-involved individuals.

The national shortage in psychiatrists, in addition to limited space and clinical support have been barriers to providing mental health and addiction treatment. Through the grant, a full compendium of staff including clinicians and Advanced Practice Nurses will work to combat these challenges. The strategies that will be implemented to improve access and quality of behavioral health services through the expansion of the CCBHC program include innovative telehealth technology, workforce development activities, outreach and education.

“The CCBHC Expansion will enable us to increase our capacity to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated services,” said Joe Masciandaro, President and CEO of CarePlus. “The funding will provide increased access to the most appropriate level of treatment and support service programs. It will allow us to carry out our mission of providing quality and compassionate care tailored to meet the diverse needs of the communities we proudly serve.”