We have seen a rise in mental health concerns over the last few years and it is essential now, more than ever, that we tackle this issue together.
For that reason, this year, as part of Union County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados’s 2023 initiatives, Union County has rolled out several critical and intertwined programs that will enhance access to mental health services, called “Stepping Up to Mental Health;” more programs are rolling out in the coming months and we encourage you to check back in periodically.
We cannot and should not be ashamed to talk about mental health openly. A society that prioritizes mental health is happier, more productive, and more fulfilled.
ARRIVE Together Expanded to Eleven Municipalities
ARRIVE Together is a statewide mental health crisis response program, coordinated in Union County through the Offices of Union County Prosecutor Bill Daniel and Union County Sheriff Pete Corvelli, which pairs civilian mental health screeners with law enforcement officers responding to volatile scenarios.
Union County has become the first county in the State of New Jersey with a 100% adoption rate, which includes local police departments in our 21 municipalities, County Police, County Sheriff’s officers, and even Kean University Police—the first instance of ARRIVE on a campus. As of November of 2023, over 420 interactions involving ARRIVE Together protocols have taken place in Union County, all without a single injury.
Mental Health Training Center and Strengthening Professional Partnerships
With the help of Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Senate President Nick Scutari, Union County is allocating $5 million from the state budget toward the construction of a mental health training facility that prepares the next generation of specialists to better serve the community, as well as connecting primary care providers with behavioral health clinicians, psychiatrists, and mental health experts.
This plan was announced at a joint event held at Kean University which saw over 165 stakeholders and guests in attendance. Read more at TapInto Hillside.
Safe Place Program
This community program bolsters the safety and mental health of marginalized people by helping local businesses, law enforcement hubs, and community spaces identify themselves as places where residents can take refuge and safely report hate and bias incidents, as well as student bullying.
With all 25 law enforcement agencies in Union County committed to participating in the program, 23 of them being certified as of the rollout, Union County is the first county worldwide to collectively execute the program. Read more here.