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Posted on: May 11, 2020

Mental Health Support Available During COVID-19 Outbreak

Mental Health

New Jerseyans feeling the emotional and mental toll of COVID-19 can get support from a special helpline.

NJ Mental Health Cares, the state’s behavioral health information and referral service, will now also offer help to people dealing with anxiety and worry related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. New Jerseyans can call 1-866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support.  NJ Mental Health Cares will be answered from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week by live trained specialists.

NJ Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services provides support to the Mental Health Association of New Jersey (MHANJ) to operate the line.

“This is a very challenging time for so many of us,” said Carole Johnson, Commissioner of NJ Human Services. “We want to make sure that New Jerseyans have a safe space to talk to someone about their worries and concerns. The thoughtful and caring team at NJ Mental Health Cares are here – at the other end of the phone line – to help.”

“Talking to others and staying connected with friends and family can help reduce anxiety and make people feel more in control,” DMHAS Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke said. “The trained specialists answering these phones can help callers take care of their mental health during this difficult time.”

“In times of crisis, it is important to pay as much attention to your mental health as your physical health,” said Mental Health Association of New Jersey President and CEO Carolyn Beauchamp. “Life has shifted drastically and quickly – this causes us to feel that we are not in control, which adds to the intensity of these emotions.”

NJ Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services has previously partnered with the Mental Health Association of New Jersey to operate the state’s mental health call line following Superstorm Sandy and 9/11.

Along with providing help for mental health issues related to COVID-19, the NJ Mental Health Cares helpline will also continue to offer general mental health support and referral. It does not provide any medical or financial advice or referrals.

For Toms River residents who require help for mental health issues or substance abuse issues, there are a number of resources available:

Hope Sheds Light 

NJSP Covid-19 Resource Guide 

COVID-19 Substance Abuse Links 

Crossroads Treatment Centers 

Ocean Mental Health Services 

The Counseling Center at Toms River 

Sunrise Detox Center 

For the latest medical information, including mental health guidance and tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website:

For the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak in New Jersey, go to the NJ Department of Health’s website:

For the latest COVID-19 guidance and information for individuals, families and providers, visit NJ Human Services’ website:

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