All of New Jersey’s Diverse Residents Need Behavioral Health Care to Thrive

October 25, 2021

Children and adults throughout New Jersey represent every ethnicity, race, language, culture, gender identity and religion, and many of them have mental health and/or substance use disorders (SUD). However, many do not have access to community-based services that have been proven to be highly effective in addressing these health conditions. As a result, disparities in health are exacerbated, leaving many without opportunities not only to achieve physical and mental well-being, but also to pursue education, employment and other important goals.

“Access to behavioral healthcare and support services is essential for achieving social justice and equity. Although mental health and substance use disorders may not be visible, they are common throughout New Jersey’s multicultural population, and they have been intensified by the pandemic, Hurricane Ida and other natural catastrophes, and manmade disasters,” said Debra L. Wentz, PhD, President and CEO of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA). “The number of children and adults needing behavioral healthcare services has increased exponentially as a result of these traumatic situations, which have also exposed striking inequities in not only the high rate of mental illnesses and substance use disorders, but also access to health care,” Dr. Wentz said.

NJAMHAA is launching a campaign, Diverse Faces…Many Lives: New Jerseyans Rely on Mental Health and Substance Use Services to Thrive, to underscore that without increased resources for the community-based behavioral health system, thousands of children, youth, adults and seniors in our diverse state will not be able to access the services they need to recover from mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Click here for additional highlights and here to download the campaign piece.


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NJAMHAA in the News

Coronavirus Resources

To help everyone stay informed about the coronavirus and recommendations that have been shared by various resources, NJAMHAA has consolidated resources. Click here to access links.

Race and Behavioral Health Resources

NJAMHAA has compiled a list of resources related to race and mental health. Click here to access the links.



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