Coordinated Specialty Care at CarePlus Now Accepting Referrals

Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus”) is proud to announce the launch of the first program in the Northern New Jersey Region for early psychosis intervention. CarePlus has been awarded a grant from the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) for the new program, Coordinated Specialty Care, along with two other providers in the Central and Southern Regions of New Jersey.

Coordinated Specialty Care Services is a federally funded demonstration project that provides early intervention services to individuals experiencing the signs and symptoms of psychosis for the first time. The program will serve individuals who are between the ages 15-35, have recently been experiencing unusual thoughts and behaviors or have started hearing/seeing things that others do not, typically interfering with work, school, or relationships. The onset of symptoms may occur from 1 week to 2 years prior to making a referral.

Studies show that approximately 100,000 adolescents and young adults in the United States experience the initial signs and symptoms of psychosis each year, with the peak onset occurring between 15-25 years of age. Clinical trials have shown that early intervention services for psychosis utilizing the Coordinated Specialty Care approach can improve symptoms and restore adaptive functioning in a manner superior to standard care.

“The transition from adolescence to adulthood can be a stressful time for many young people being faced with significant physical or emotional life changes.” stated Melissa Sampath, Clinical Manager for Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) at CarePlus. “When someone experiences the first signs and symptoms of psychosis, they don’t always understand what is happening to them. They may often feel or become further isolated, and usually don’t know where to look for help.”

Melissa Sampath, Clinical Manager and Anna Rhodes-Marchese, Outreach and Referral Specialist at the Essex County Mental Health Awareness Day.

Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) is an early intervention program, which includes a team-based and recovery-oriented approach, shared decision making, evidence-based practices and collaborative treatment planning. The CSC multi-disciplinary team includes a Clinical Manger, an Outreach and Referral Specialist, a Recovery Coach, a Supported Employment and Educational Specialist, a Prescriber, and a Peer Recovery Specialist. The program offers a full spectrum of services including low doses of atypical antipsychotic medications, cognitive and behavioral psychotherapy, family education and peer support, educational and vocational rehabilitation, as well as outreach and case management for youth, young adults, and their families.

“Our goal is to change the trajectory of the illness through timely treatment for the early onset of symptoms,” Sampath explained. “We want to help these individuals identify their personal strengths and decrease the severity of their symptoms so that they can continue to pursue their occupational, educational and social goals.” With a specialized, multidisciplinary team approach to care, we are confident that we can help individuals recover from the traumatic experience of psychosis.”

The CSC Team will build partnerships with colleges and universities, high schools, hospitals and emergency rooms, psychiatric screening centers, the children’s system of care, intensive family support services and veteran’s organizations in the efforts of building community awareness and identifying appropriate referrals for the program.

Referrals are now being accepted for the Northern NJ Region, including Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties. The remaining NJ county residents can be referred to Rutgers University of Behavioral Health Care for the Central NJ region and Oaks Integrated Care for the Southern NJ Region.

The CarePlus CSC office is located at 611 Route 64 West, Suite 100 Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604. Please call 201-986-5010 for more information or to make a referral.