Programs and Services




Career Connection Employment Resource Institute

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s Career Connection Employment Resource Institute (CCERI) expands employment opportunities for people in recovery by creating system change through the promotion of best practices. We offer training for providers, consumers, family members, and employers as well as technical assistance for mental health providers. We also collaborate with other community organizations. Services are available at no cost to individuals and agencies

Types of Training Available

Specialized Employment Trainings

Experts on a variety of subjects offer training to increase knowledge and skills in a number of areas that impact vocational outcomes.

 Onsite Customized Training (OCT)
OCT is customized by our experienced staff to meet the needs of the target audience. Sessions are conveniently provided onsite at your location, eliminating staff travel.

55-Hour Partial Care Prevocational Training
This Prevocational Training series is approved by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). Its goal is to increase staff’s vocational competencies to prepare consumers for employment.



Please note we are offering an additional opportunity to take our Live Webinar,
Supported Employment: An Overview

Please click on the link below for details and to register for our webinar series


Please click on the link below for details and to register


Please click on the link below for details and to register

Examples of Available Training Topics
Job Development
Job Coaching
Co-occurring Disabilities and Employment
Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) for Work
Motivational Interviewing
Veteran’s Issues
Domestic Violence and the Workplace
Professional Fatigue
Interviewing Skills
Developing Employment Groups
Barriers to Employment
Social Media and Work
Resume Development
Career Counseling Techniques
ADA and Reasonable Accommodations

For more information contact Ruth Kaluski at or 973-571-4100, ext. 136



  Community Education and Outreach

MHANJ offers on-site presentations to workplaces, schools, health fairs, businesses, and community organizations. Presentations are conducted by MHANJ staff or other qualified speakers. We can also arrange for an MHANJ staff person or volunteer to speak about a mental health topic from a personal perspective. This first-person viewpoint, combined with a lecture or role-play presentation, is a very effective educational tool.

The Community Education and Outreach Department is dedicated to promoting mental health and decreasing the stigma surrounding mental illness by providing education to enhance awareness and understanding. Programs include the Mental Health Players, PEWS (Promoting Emotional Wellness and Spirituality, WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) training and more.

For more information please contact Sara Thode, Deputy, COO  at 973-571-4100, ext. 164 or


  Choices (Smoking Cessation)

Choices (Consumers Helping Others Improve their Condition by Ending Smoking) is a program for smokers with mental illness. The goal of the program is to increase awareness of the importance of addressing tobacco use and to create a strong peer network that encourages mental health consumers to stop smoking. Choices is a joint program of the MHANJ and the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey (UMDNJ).

For more information visit


   Hearing Distressing Voices Workshop

“Hearing Distressing Voices” Workshop is a two-hour workshop that provides a simulated experience of hearing voices that will enhance empathy and understanding of the day to day challenges that face people with psychiatric disabilities. Designed for mental health providers and anyone who would like to better understand the experience of hearing distressing voices, the ultimate goal is to bring about change in clinical practices that will better address the needs of people who hear voices. Workshops can be held on-site at your facility. This workshop is not meant for anyone who experiences voices.

For more information or to schedule a workshop contact Laverne Williams at  or 973-571-4100, ext. 130.


  Mental Health Players

The MHANJ’s NJ Mental Health Players (NJMHP) is a highly successful, interactive community education program. It is the longest-running program of its type in the state. Volunteers are trained to depict realistic scenarios involving mental health issues. These presentations provide audiences with a dynamic way to receive basic education about mental illness and become sensitized to the stigma that is often associated with having mental health challenges. Performances usually consist of two customized, audience-specific scenes, each of which is followed by an opportunity for the audience to interact with the players and to ask questions about each mental health issue that has been presented.

The content of a Mental Health Players’ performance is determined by the needs of each agency or group. The focus might involve two of the following mental health issues: bullying (including workplace harassment), depression (at various stages of life), obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, stress and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) dementia, interpersonal relationships, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

The “Players” have performed at agencies, professional conferences, partial care facilities as well as many colleges and secondary schools. Audiences consist of all ages and diverse memberships, averaging over 2,000 people annually. Recent performances have included the Hudson County Crisis Intervention Team Training, NJ State Nurses Convention, the 5th Annual S-COPE Conference (Trinitas Regional Medical Center), Wellness House – Family Connections, School #27 – Paterson, and Ocean County College.

For information and to learn more about “The Players” view their video presentation or listen to the MHANJ’s New Jersey Mental Health Players podcast interview . To learn how MHANJ can structure a presentation for your group, contact Lynette Sheard, at or 973-571-4100, ext. 104.




Consumer Connections is a nationally recognized program which recruits, trains, and supports consumers of mental health services working to become providers of mental health services. The program works with mental health providers in New Jersey to expand employment opportunities for consumer providers. Consumer Connections offers courses which meet the educational requirements and lead to Certification as a Recovery Support Practitioner (CRSP).  For more information on the CRSP certification, please visit   For more information on Consumer Connections please email; or contact Chrissy Schayer, Director, at (848) 480-0916.

Mission Statement
Consumer Connections, a program of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, is dedicated to strengthening and expanding peer workforce development. Through the creation of high-quality training and educational opportunities, our goal is to empower individuals working as Peer Specialists to use their lived experience to support others in moving toward wellness and recovery.

Vision Statement
To offer state of the art training and support to peers seeking to develop the skills and competencies necessary to work as Peer Recovery Specialists in the State of NJ.

The application period for 2017 CORE training is now closed.
Watch for 2018 CORE training announcements coming soon.

Click here to learn more about the application and selection process.

 CORE Training Information
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a Certified Recovery Support Practitioner in the mental health or co-occurring disorders fields, and you are a consumer in recovery, you are eligible to apply for possible admission to the CORE training.  The 108 hours of CORE training and 18 hours of WRAP will satisfy the educational component for the Certified Recovery Support Practitioner (CRSP) credential. If selected to participate in the CORE training, students will be required to attend 22 specified days of training.
Contact Chrissy Schayer, Director, at (848) 480-0916 for additional information.


 (Promoting Emotional Wellness and Spirituality)

The PEWS Program (Promoting Emotional Wellness and Spirituality) educates members of the clergy, lay leaders and houses of worship to better recognize mental illness and how to link  members to resources. It promotes emotional wellness by embracing the mind, body and spirit approach while addressing the stigma surrounding mental illness. PEWS may assist faith-based communities in starting PEWS Mental Health auxiliaries.

For more about the PEWS Program contact Laverne Williams at or 973-571-4100, ext. 130.




 WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)

WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) is a program developed by Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D., that helps those who experience psychiatric symptoms to take action on their own behalf to maintain wellness and improve the quality of their lives. WRAP is based on the key recovery concepts of hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy, and support. WRAP workshops for consumers can be arranged on site as well as pieces of training to offer technical assistance to mental health providers who would like to incorporate WRAP into their programs. Topics include the key concepts of recovery, how to develop each section of WRAP, and strategies to assist and support consumers in developing a WRAP and utilizing the plan in their daily lives.

Please note, this training does not provide the certification to become a WRAP facilitator.

For more information about scheduling a WRAP class or training at your site, contact Laverne Williams at or 973-571-4100, ext. 130.


  Intensive Family Support Services

Intensive Family Support Services (IFSS) of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey is designed to assist families with adult children who have mental illness learn to cope with the situation. Understanding and coping with a family member’s mental illness can be a painful and challenging journey. IFFS can provide information and support to help families cope.

For more information contact Joyce Benz at or 908-810-1001, ext. 310 for Union County or Christine Miller at or 609-652-3800 for Atlantic County.



NJMentalHealthCares is New Jersey’s mental health information and referral service. Our staff of mental health professionals uses their experience and understanding of the mental health system to provide callers with information and connect them to the mental health services they need, such as legal, housing, employment, rehabilitation, inpatient and outpatient, self-help and more.

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s New Jersey MentalHealthCares Helpline also began to accept calls during its regular hours (weekdays, 8 am to 8 pm) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The average answer time for a call is 15 seconds or less.

About NJMentalHealthCares:

1-866-202-HELP(4357) (TTY 1-877-294-4356) — free, confidential mental health information and referral.

• Live service is provided from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily; other times callers may leave a message for a return call.

• NJMentalHealthCares does not provide crisis intervention. For emergencies call 911!

• Calls are answered by a knowledgeable mental health professional.

• They use the most up-to-date listing of NJ’s public mental health services.

• Callers may search an on-line database.

• There is a follow-up to assure satisfaction with referrals.

• Calls may be transferred to a service; the counselor may stay on the line until the caller is comfortable.

Click here for more information about NJMentalHealthCares.

NJMentalHealthCares is a service of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey funded by the NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.



   Self-Help Groups

MHANJ runs a variety of self-help support groups which are organized and managed by persons in recovery from mental illness. Groups tend to be short-term and are offered on a rotating basis. Examples of groups offered are Double Trouble (for individuals with mental illness and substance abuse issues), Stages of Loss to Recovery and Wellness Groups.

For more information about self-help groups contact Carolyn Quinn at or 609-652-3800 ext. 303 for Atlantic County, Jackie Baxley at or 908-810-1001, ext. 2 for Union County or 201-653-4700 for Hudson County or Rachael O’Dea, BS, AMTP, DRCC, at or 732-244-0940 for Ocean County.


   Self-Help Centers

Self Help Centers: ICE (Atlantic County), Journey to Wellness (Ocean County) and Esperanza (Union County) are places where mental health consumers can go to feel safe and relaxed and learn how to plan their own recovery. Self-Help Centers provide an environment of mutual support and empowerment that promotes wellness, which is a state of social, spiritual, mental/emotional, intellectual, vocational and physical health.

For more information contact Carolyn Quinn at or 609-652-3800, ext. 303 for Atlantic County, Jackie Baxley at or 908-810-1001, ext. 2 for Union or Hudson Counties or Michelle Price at or 732-244-0940 for Ocean County.


      Self-Help Group Clearinghouse

The New Jersey Self-Help Group Clearinghouse was started in 1981 as the first statewide operation of its kind in the country. The mission of the Clearinghouse is to help people find and form all types of self-help support groups in order to provide hope, strength, and experience to those in need in order to not feel alone.

We offer the following services:

INFORMATION ON SELF-HELP SUPPORT GROUPS – We maintain a database of over 8,600 self-help group meetings statewide, as well as over 1,000 national self-help group headquarters, online and telephone groups, and networks.

IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS ON DEVELOPING GROUPS – Many new groups are started each year with the assistance of the Clearinghouse. Our staff can help you with ideas and suggestions over the phone and through email or “snail mail”. We have a vast library of how-tos on starting and running groups in general, as well as specific types of groups.

TRAINING – We offer periodic workshops throughout the state on topics of interest to those starting, running and maintaining support groups.

PRESENTATIONS ABOUT SUPPORT GROUPS – We provide free presentations on the availability and benefits of self-help support groups and how they can assist your clients, customers, congregants, families, and friends.

WEBSITE – We include information of interest to group leaders, professionals who make referrals to groups, to those interested in starting new groups, and the general community. We also have contact information on support groups in New Jersey on our website at





In response to the September 11 disaster and later Hurricane Sandy, a toll-free Helpline was established and is maintained through the Mental Health Association in New Jersey as a resource for persons seeking mental health services and information regarding disaster-related trauma.  The Helpline continues to support the services of the Disaster and Terrorism Branch during times of declared disasters or incidents that significantly affect New Jersey’s communities. The Helpline has language access and 24-hour capability.

Call 877-294-HELP (4357), TTY 877-294-4356 for assistance. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


Crisis Counseling Certification

NJ Disaster Response Crisis Counselor Certification is available. Working with the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services and the New Jersey Certification Board, the MHANJ provides trauma-related training for New Jersey residents interested in becoming Certified Disaster Response Crisis Counselors.

To register for Disaster Mental Health trainings and apply for your NJ DRCC Certification visit