Bringing the Hope of Employment to Middlesex County Residents Impacted by Opiate Use Disorder and their Family Members


Landing and keeping a job can be a challenging for anyone, and especially difficult for people in recovery from opiate use disorder. The problem is real in Middlesex County, where 49% of substance use disorder treatment admissions were attributed to heroine and other opiates in 2019. Many times family members, consumed with caring for the individual, face similar employment hurdles. Two well-established non-profit organizations are joining forces to help create change for the better.

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) and Prevention Links and are pleased to launch a proven-successful supportive employment program for the community. Entitled Pathways to Success, the program helps people impacted by opiate use disorder and their family members find gainful and long-term employment. Free to eligible Middlesex County residents, the Pathways to Recovery program is financed 100% with WIOA (Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act) National Dislocated Worker NEG (National Emergency Grant) federal funding totaling $3,000,000.

About Pathways to Success in Middlesex County

Pathways to Success offers a comprehensive array of free employment services, with individualized, one-on-one guidance throughout the job search and application process. Depending on the participants individual circumstances, benefits may include:

  • Education and training in a broad range of fields, with the opportunity to earn credentials that are valued in various industries
  • Short-term transportation assistance, general financial assistance, free interview attire and wellness and recovery strategies
  • Direct links to hiring employers
  • Ongoing employment support once employment is attained

Participants interested in working in the field of behavioral health may pursue a component of the program called the Power of Peers (POP). The first of its kind in New Jersey, POP features:

  • A comprehensive educational and credentialing track that prepares individuals to work in New Jersey as Certified Peer Specialists who help others in recovery from substance use, mental health, and/or
    co-occurring disorders
  • An internship with additional work experience, a practicum, education, supervision, and on-the-job training that meets the 500 hours of internship requirement to pursue New Jersey Peer

Eligibility for Pathways to Success

Middlesex County residents aged 18 and older who are unemployed and have been directly or indirectly impacted by opioid use are eligible to participate. A valid driver’s license (or utility bill with address) or photo I.D., social security card and birth certificate are required to enroll.

While the exact name of the program may differ, similar Pathways to Recovery initiatives are also available in New Jersey in Atlantic, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, and Union Counties.

Pathways to Success Program Celebrates Track Record in Ocean County

“Launched in July of 2019, 100% of participants of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s Pathways to Success Program in Ocean County received supportive services, individualized employment assistance, free training and credentialling and recovery support. An impressive 70% of the more than 100 Ocean County residents assisted through this program got jobs and remain employed,” said Carolyn Beauchamp, President and CEO of the MHANJ. “We are pleased to join with Prevention Links, to bring this win/win opportunity to the residents of Middlesex County.”

“We have found that people are especially interested in several of the training components of the program that lead to credentials in fields such as behavioral health, customer service, and technology. Based on qualifications afforded through Pathways to Success in Ocean County, the MHANJ has even been able to employ some of our peer graduates,” stated Racheal O’DEA, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of the MHANJ.

“Prevention Links has been privileged to serve this community for a number of years through our Greenway Family Success Center,” said Morgan Thompson, CEO of Prevention Links. “As a person in long-term recovery and a Middlesex County native, I am so proud to offer a service through Pathways to Success that is responsive to the diverse needs of individuals and families who call Middlesex County home.”

“Everyone in the Pathways program is terrific to work with. They gave me the confidence to explore employment choices outside my comfort zone and have the confidence in myself to know I can excel at those choices. Pathways has led me to pursue an entirely new career path. Being involved with the Pathways program has been a wonderful experience,” added, Mandy L. Strauss, Pathways to Success in Ocean County participant.

For more information regarding Pathways to Success, Power of Peers, or Peer Credentialling or to enroll please email or call 732-244-0940.

About Us

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey is a statewide non-profit organization that strives for children and adults to achieve victory over mental health and substance use disorders through advocacy, education, training, and services. For more information visit

Prevention Links’ mission is to foster, healthy, sustainable communities by empowering people through education, collaboration, and linkages to resources. For more information visit