The County Mental Health Division directly oversees County funded community mental health services. In conjunction with the State Division of Mental Health Services (NJ DMHS), the County Mental Health Administrator jointly oversees all State contracted community mental health services. The County MH Administrator serves as the Director of the Division. Partially funded through a State salary match, in addition to the co-administration role, the Administrator directs activities for the County MH Board, a twelve member Board mandated by Statute and appointed by the County Executive to provide community based oversight and guidance for these services. In addition to the activities of the Board, the Division convenes regular meetings of the Board’s Professional Advisory Committee. Also mandated by statute, the PAC meets regularly to share information and to provide a forum for improving collaboration and services for consumers and family members. Comprised of representatives of all State and County funded agencies plus others serving the population, e.g. Board of Social Services, City of Trenton, etc., current activities for the PAC include housing and vocational/employment needs. In addition, the Board supports such other community activities as outreach to the local faith community through its Congregational Outreach Group and Public Awareness Activities through its Information Alliance. Working jointly with the County Division of Community and Senior Services’ Office of Addiction Services, the Division also sponsors a Task Force focused on the unique needs of consumers with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders.

Since the mid 90's, the Division has also housed the Traumatic Loss Prevention Services Program, which supports activities jointly with the County’s Traumatic Loss Coalition. TL/PS provides parent and community education programs aimed at reducing risk factors for teenage suicide in the County. (See TL/PS).

In addition to these activities, the Administrator is regularly involved in other planning and coordinative activities for youth, senior citizens, the homeless and other populations in human services. This includes the Systems Review Committee, an acute care oversight and review group required by the State Screening law, local groups such as the HSAC and Youth Services Commission and service on State planning groups in areas as diverse as medication adherence and community resource development.

The Mental Health Division administers the County Mental Health Program Area Budget. This Budget area includes a number of services jointly funded along with the State and additional services deemed necessary by the County. See downloadable Guide to Publicly Funded Mental Health Services in Mercer County for more complete information.

For more information on the Division: (609) 989-6574

Mercer County Traumatic Loss Coalition

Mercer County's Traumatic Loss Prevention Services (TLPS), staffed by a Project Coordinator, provides three main community services. First, TLPS provides educational training workshops and conferences to equip professionals with the knowledge necessary to respond appropriately to crisis events and to minimize personal trauma and the threat of contagion among youth. Second, TLPS holds monthly Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) meetings to maintain community cohesion and sustain suicide issue awareness, track traumatic events within Mercer County and respond to diverse community needs affecting youth (TLPS is not a crisis responder nor a counseling or intervention service). Third, TLPS assists schools in preparing their emergency crisis plan using the Managing Sudden Traumatic Loss in the Schools Manual.

The Traumatic Loss Coalition is a voluntary group of dedicated professionals, community members, and involved residents, formed in 1995 as a result of a series of tragic losses including a number of serial suicides among teenagers which occurred in Mercer County. Current membership is comprised of many different sectors of the community - law enforcement, education systems, mental health professionals, private agencies, public officials, hospitals, local health departments, members of the clergy and others. The TLC meets monthly to discuss traumatic events with particular impact on teenagers and to identify the potential for increased cooperation and collaboration for improved response in future incidents.

Together, the TLPS and the TLC have hosted conferences covering various topics such as suicidal risk-assessment for youth, compassion fatigue for caregivers, adolescent self-injury, adolescent brain development, dual diagnosis - co-occurring disorders, adolescent depression and coordinating the aftermath of a traumatic event. Technical assistance has been provided to interested school systems and municipalities in order to make their crisis response systems more effective in the event that a traumatic loss occurs. Training has been offered for the media on how to report on a traumatic loss event appropriately in order to avoid a contagion effect among other youth (Exposure to suicides, homicides and other violent losses affecting the school or community may add to a child's level of risk.). Therefore, the name "Traumatic Loss Coalition" denotes the Coalition's efforts to mitigate the effects of all such events on local teenagers through prevention and "post"-vention activities.

For more information contact the Traumatic Loss Prevention Services Office at 609-278-7924. Our office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 - 4:30.

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