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Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

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Christie Administration Provides Nearly $4 Million in Additional Funding for Behavioral Health Screenings for Individuals Impacted by Superstorm Sandy

Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd today announced that the State will dedicate an additional $1.2 million in federal Social Services Block Grant funding to allow hospitals to continue to conduct behavioral health screenings for individuals impacted by Superstorm Sandy.   The funding will support the screening of approximately 35,600 residents.

“Many families and individuals in communities across New Jersey are still working through the emotional stresses that Sandy left in her wake,” said Commissioner O’Dowd.  ““The screenings will allow impacted residents to find needed resources that may help them recover.”

The following organizations will receive behavioral health screening funding:

  • Meridian Hospital Corporation will receive $350,000 and serve 10,500 residents
    • Screenings will take place at:
      Bayshore Community Hospital, Ocean Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center
  • CarePoint Health Foundation, Inc.  will receive $375,000 and serve 15,000 residents
    • Screenings will take place at:
      Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital and Hoboken University Medical Center
  • AtlanticCare Behavioral Health will receive $200,000 and serve 4,000 residents
    • Screenings will take place at:
      AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
  • Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition, Inc. will receive $300,000 and serve 6,100 residents 
    • Screenings will take place at: 
      Jersey City Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and East Orange General Hospital

The screenings will begin in September and take place in the hospitals’ Emergency Rooms.

In addition, an evaluation of the program will be done by the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

The funding announced today is in addition to $2.2 million in grants that were awarded last spring to seven community hospitals and three health centers for behavioral health screenings of more than 48,000 residents.   In total, more than $3.4 million in funding has been awarded to support behavioral health screenings of more than 83,000 residents.  

The grants that have been awarded are designed to serve individuals in the nine counties most impacted by Sandy:  Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.  The screenings will seek to help people coping with stress, mental health issues, household discord, substance abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.     

“We know from previous experiences, such as Hurricane Katrina that post-traumatic stresses manifest themselves several years past the actual disaster which is why it is so important to make these screenings available,” said O’Dowd.

The State Department of Human Services has a formal agreement with Rutgers' University Behavioral HealthCare (UBHC) to provide clinical mental health and substance use disorder treatment services to Sandy survivors. A tele-health option is available. To access services, call New Jersey Mental Health Cares Helpline at 866-202-HELP (4357), (TTY 877-294-4356).

Suspected child abuse and neglect, whether occurring at home or in child care centers, schools, foster homes, residential treatment centers, and other institutional settings, must be reported.  Call 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873, TTY 1-800-835-5510) toll-free, 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week hotline to report suspected child abuse.

Last Reviewed: 8/21/2014