Care Plus NJ, Inc., a pioneer in integrated primary and behavioral health services for adults and children, has been awarded $1.5 million in grant funding over two years by the Office of the Attorney General to establish a Trauma Recovery Center that will offer comprehensive mental health and support services to underserved crime victims in Bergen County. The Trauma Recovery Center (TRC) will provide outreach, case management, and clinical services to underserved adult and child crime victims who are typically unable to access services.
With an emphasis on vulnerable populations, CarePlus’ TRC will focus on individuals who are homeless, chronically mentally ill, LGBTQ individuals, those experiencing severe trauma-related symptoms, racial and ethnic minorities, and juvenile victims involved in the child welfare system. Following the proven University of California San Francisco Trauma Recovery Center model, the Bergen County TRC will address a wide scope of crime victims, which is crucial to serving individuals and families who have often experienced different kinds of victimization and belong to multiple underserved populations. The TRC will focus on Bergen County’s urban centers where levels of crime are higher but will also serve surrounding counties if capacity allows.
“Historically, crime victims in underserved populations have unfortunately not had access to the comprehensive post-trauma treatment and mental health services they need to heal physically and emotionally,” said Sue Heguy, TRC project director and senior director of Children and Family Services, CarePlus. “It is crucial to provide support and services to adult and child crime victims who face cultural and economic barriers when accessing care. This funding will allow us to provide trauma-informed services to facilitate healing and provide hope for recovery, while developing a safe space in the community for these individuals.”
In addition to project director, the clinical team will consist of a psychologist, forensic psychiatrist, a program coordinator, clinical case managers, and an admissions and triage specialist. Non-clinical staff will include a peer support specialist and an outreach coordinator. Clinical case managers will act as the single point of contact for victims and will provide case management, psychotherapy, advocacy, substance abuse treatment, assertive outreach, and crisis intervention.
CarePlus will partner with the following organizations on the initiative to identify those at risk and in need of treatment and support services: Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Alternatives to Domestic Violence, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen’s Promise, the Center for Hope and Safety, the Community Health Law Project, the Bergen County Police Chief’s Association and the Bergen County Shelter.
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