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 Training

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.

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 Marilyn Feliciano,   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.

  The New Jersey 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 made up of volunteers who are trained to depict realistic scenarios.

The NJ Mental Health Players provide audiences with a dynamic way to receive basic education about mental illness, addiction and other relevant challenges to increase awareness, decrease stigma and break the silence. Topics cover a variety of areas: depression, addiction, suicide, stress and anxiety, harassment-Intimidation-bullying (HIB), schizophrenia, dementia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, conditions of aging, dual diagnosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), interpersonal relationships, grief, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), parenting challenges, cultural competence, body image, gender identity, stigma, and much more. Performances usually consist of two customized, audience-specific scenes, each of which is followed by a talk back -an opportunity for the audience to interact  with the players  to ask questions and engage in solutions

The New Jersey Mental Health Players Program provides mental health presentations throughout the state of NJ. Performances are held on weekdays, evenings and on occasional weekends. Venues include but not exclusive to community and corporate conferences, seminars, elementary, high school, colleges/universities, social service agencies, hospitals, state and federal agencies

Please view and share this promotional video.  For bookings and information contact the Director Lynette Sheard at or call 973-571-4100 ext. 104.

Consumer Connections Program

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 (732) 451-4457.

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.

 For More Information Click Here

 (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)

Developed in 1997, The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP®, is an evidence-based, prevention and wellness process that anyone can customize and apply to help make life the way they want it to be. It may be used by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems across the globe to address physical, mental health and life issues.

“WRAP is like a universal skeleton key that can unlock many aspects of wellness in one’s life… learning has always been one of whole health wellness and recovery; or recovering our wellness. Our focus on Hope, Personal Responsibility, Education, Self Advocacy and Support as a foundation for self-directed recovery and the planning process for recovering our wellness encompasses our minds, body and souls.”

—Matthew Federici, Executive Director of Copeland Center

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey is committed to bringing the evidenced-based practice of WRAP to life with a highly dedicated team of WRAP Facilitators, as well as Advanced Level Facilitators. As leaders in this valuable practice in New Jersey, MHANJ offers many opportunities to organizations, as well as individuals, who are looking to expand their knowledge of WRAP.

To speak with a member of the WRAP Leadership Team about bringing WRAP to your organization or to inquire about WRAP opportunities, please contact us at

To stay up-to-date on all upcoming WRAP Trainings and Opportunities, join our mailing list by clicking here.


  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 973-571-4100, ext. 118, for Union County or Megan Schweer at or 609-652-3800, ext. 301, 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 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, for Union or Hudson County; 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