New Jersey Congressional Delegation Urged to Preserve Millions in Federal Funding to Maintain Progress Against Opioid Crisis


Sophia Majlessi
(202) 621-1631

Seven Behavioral Health Centers Will Lose Funding June 30 for More Than 85 Addiction Clinicians Providing Critical Services to Thousands Without Immediate Congressional Action

NEW JERSEY, NJ (February 20, 2019) — Leaders of the seven Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) in New Jersey sent a letter to Sens. Cory Booker (D- NJ), Robert Menendez (D- NJ) and all 12 members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation urging them to support the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act (S. 1905/H.R. 3931). Passing this legislation will ensure that New Jersey does not abandon the progress made in expanding mental health and addiction care by extending current CCBHCs’ activities for one more year.

The 2014 bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health Act established CCBHC demonstration projects in eight states, including New Jersey. Since launching in 2017, New Jersey has leveraged new funding to dramatically improve access to community-based addiction and mental health care, particularly opioid addiction services. CCBHCs in New Jersey have hired new addiction-focused clinicians, expanded medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and other addiction services and reduced patient wait times. However, with CCBHC demonstration funding set to expire on June 30, 2019, access to these lifesaving treatments in New Jersey could be lost without immediate Congressional action.

In less than two years, the seven CCBHCs in New Jersey have enhanced their capacity to deliver integrated care, including:

  • Increasing availability of MAT for opioid addiction with 83 percent of New Jersey CCBHCs making at least one MAT available, compared to only 36 percent nationwide.
  • Increasing the number of veterans receiving care.
  • Implementing innovative partnerships with criminal justice agencies to help reduce recidivism.
  • Adding more than 85 new addiction-focused clinicians including psychiatrists, therapists and telehealth clinicians with increased staff retention overall.
  • Scheduling 300-400 more intakes per month, providing same day or next day access to care, resulting in a 67 percent decrease in patient wait times.
  • Serving thousands of additional individuals with increased screening for physical and mental health conditions including cervical and colorectal cancer, diabetes, tobacco use, BMI and depression.

“You cannot underestimate the enormous benefit CCBHC funding has made to our clients, our communities and the state as a whole,” said Vera Sansone, president and chief executive officer of CPC Behavioral Healthcare. “We are living with a devastating opioid epidemic and, with this added funding, we are fighting back with more clinicians and expanded access to lifesaving medication-assisted treatment. More broadly, we are addressing chronic health issues, improving quality of life and keeping individuals out of costly emergency departments. “We are just starting to see the benefits of the added funding. Now is not the time to reverse course.”

“New Jersey will feel a devastating impact should the CCBHC funding not be renewed. We anticipate an immediate disruption in services, particularly in crisis psychiatric services and addictions treatment,” said Susan Loughery, MBA, director of operations for Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton. “This would impact not only the CCBHCs, but also the hospital system and social service providers that collaborate with CCBHCs to provide services to individuals with complex needs.”

New Jersey’s Seven CCBHCsCity
AtlantiCare Behavioral HealthEgg Harbor Township, Atlantic City, Hammonton



Care Plus New Jersey, Inc.Paramus, Fair Lawn, Hasbrouck Heights, Paterson, Bloomfield, Haledon, Hackensack, Secaucus, Union



CPC Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.Red Bank/Middletown, Howell, Freehold, Aberdeen, Morganville, Eatontown



Catholic Charities – Diocese of TrentonTrenton, Hamilton Township



Northwest Essex Community Healthcare Network, Inc.



Belleville, Montclair
Oaks Integrated CareVarious locations



Rutgers University Behavioral Health CarePiscataway, New Brunswick, Newark, Cherry Hill, Edison, Monmouth Junction, Trenton


The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 3,000 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 1.5 million Americans have been trained.

About The National Council

Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,400 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than 3 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.