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NJAMHAA Launches New Campaign: Diverse Faces: All Are Worthy of Full Investment

The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, the statewide advocacy group for behavioral health professional organizations, has launched a new campaign that compellingly illustrates the need for increased funding and legislation to ensure that everyone receives the treatment and support they need to recover from mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Below is the news release introducing the new campaign. Our own Dr. Tara Chalakani, PBHG CEO, is one of the state behavioral health leaders featured in the video.

Everyone in New Jersey’s Diverse Community Is Worthy of Full Investment in the Behavioral Healthcare System

January 16, 2024

According to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration November 2023 report, 48.7 million Americans (17.3%) aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in 2022 and 59.3 million adults aged 18 (23.1%) or older had a mental illness. Effective, evidence-based treatment and supports have provided millions of these individuals a path to recovery. Unfortunately, those who are struggling often are unable to access the services they need and deserve.

Every New Jerseyan must have access to timely, quality behavioral health care. In order for the State to provide it, increased and sustained funding for the behavioral healthcare workforce and essential behavioral health programs is needed. The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies’ (NJAMHAA’s) new campaign, Diverse Faces: All Are Worthy of Full Investment, shares recommendations on how access to care can be improved and, importantly, it highlights many New Jerseyans’ success stories that demonstrate how life-changing and life-saving behavioral health care is to those who receive it.

In addition to achieving recovery from mental illnesses and substance use disorders, recipients of behavioral healthcare services reach many other goals, such as reuniting with their families, pursuing higher education, returning to careers and entering new professions, and contributing to their communities. “These are powerful, lasting and meaningful impacts of the support that the behavioral healthcare workforce fosters,” said Debra L. Wentz, PhD, President and CEO of NJAMHAA.

“Our campaign shares several of the countless examples of how behavioral health and support services — and the workforce who provide them — have enabled New Jersey residents to lead the most fulfilling and successful lives possible. It illustrates the need for the FY2025 State Budget to include substantial increases to reimbursement rates and contracts to ensure that everyone receives the services they need and deserve, and, thereby, gain opportunities to improve their quality of life and achieve all their goals,” Dr. Wentz stated.

Click here to view the campaign brochure and on the arrow below to watch the video.