CarePlus NJ Awarded $8M in Federal Grant Funding to Transform Bergen and Essex County Community Behavioral Health Systems, Address Disparities and Increase Access to Integrated Care

Expands Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic services for LGBTQ+, Black, Hispanic, and low-income populations
Paramus, N.J. (November 8, 2023) – Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus NJ”), a pioneer in integrated primary and behavioral health services for adults and children, announced it has been awarded two federal grants over 4 years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) totaling $8M, to enhance its Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) services in Bergen County as well as expand the program to establish CCBHC services in Essex County.


The funding will allow CarePlus NJ to address disparities in rapid access to behavioral health services and better integrate them with primary care to improve health outcomes, with a focus on underserved populations.

As a CCBHC certified by the State of New Jersey, since 2017, CarePlus NJ has been providing person- and family-centered integrated services in Bergen County to support recovery from mental illness and/or substance use disorders (SUD) by providing access to high-quality mental health and SUD services, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. In 2021, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported 309,000 individuals in New Jersey did not receive needed mental health care, 28.5% of whom did not access care due to cost. Through the grants, CarePlus NJ will expand the CCBHC model to address significant needs for behavioral health services in Bergen and Essex counties increasing access to care.

“As one of State of New Jersey’s first CCBHCs established in 2017, we are acutely aware of the critical need to enhance and expand access to integrated primary and behavioral health care, especially for historically underserved populations including communities of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” said Brigitte Johnson, Esq., President / CEO, CarePlus NJ. “The funding will allow us to build on our agency’s goals of improving health equity and embedding DEIB in all areas of the organization to ensure we are continuing to enhance access to integrated care for the populations who need it most.”

In Bergen County, CarePlus NJ will build upon its integrated behavioral health treatment services for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI), serious emotional disturbance (SED), substance use disorders (SUD), and co-occurring disorders (COD), focusing on individuals with behavioral health needs including adults who are not securely connected to primary care, children ages 5-17 with SED and/or SUD, low-income individuals, those who self-identify as LGBTQ+, those who are diagnosed with SMI, and the general population, including active military and veterans. CarePlus NJ will use the funding to improve diagnostic and treatment planning, care coordination, and case consultation to promote integrated primary and behavioral healthcare as well as better pathways to urgent and emergent healthcare.

In Essex County, CarePlus NJ will establish CCBHC services to address care disparities among historically underserved populations including those who self-identify as Black, Hispanic and LGBTQ+. CarePlus NJ’s CCBHC services in Essex County will address disparities in rapid access to behavioral health services for these populations by conducting a community needs assessment, establishing a walk-in rapid access behavioral health center, and increasing community outreach, training, screening, assessment, and linkages to care.

“Our Bergen County CCBHC has made substantial progress over the past several years yet there is still significant unmet need this funding will enable us to address. The expansion of our CCBHC services to Essex County will also be vital in addressing the lack of behavioral and mental health services in the county, which ranks 17 out of 21 in the state in both health outcomes and health factors,” Johnson added.

About CarePlus NJ

For more than 45 years, Care Plus NJ, Inc. has been a pioneer in integrated primary and behavioral health services for adults and children in northern New Jersey. Based in Paramus, New Jersey, CarePlus NJ is committed to providing the most comprehensive integrated treatment options through 80+ programs designed to meet the full spectrum of health and wellness needs for adults and children in the communities it serves. Specializing in acute care, CarePlus NJ provides immediate, high-quality health services and support programs for individuals in crisis. Nationally ranked for excellence in customer satisfaction by the Mental Health Corporations of America, CarePlus NJ is mission driven ensuring that anyone who needs it has access to specialized care. To learn more about CarePlus NJ and its wide range of programs and services, visit


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