February 16, 2022
NJAMHAA Shares Inspiring Examples, Calls for More Funding to Create More Opportunities
As Black History Month highlights the meaningful accomplishments of many individuals, often overcoming great adversity, the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA) is demonstrating that everyone in New Jersey's multicultural population can reach their full potential with support from behavioral healthcare providers. This message, along with the need for increased contract funding and reimbursement rates to ensure access to these vital services, is the focus of NJAMHAA's advocacy campaign, Diverse Faces, Many Lives: New Jerseyans Rely on Mental Health and Substance Use Services to Thrive.
"Black History Month is inspiring as it illustrates how individuals have contributed significantly to society in so many positive ways. NJAMHAA strongly believes that everyone has the potential to be equally successful and, although some people are limited by symptoms of mental illnesses or substance use disorders, the setbacks could be temporary when there is unimpeded access to services," said Debra L. Wentz, PhD, President and CEO of NJAMHAA. "Through our Diverse Faces campaign, we share real-life examples of the successes individuals from every racial and ethnic group have achieved as a result of the support they receive from behavioral health service providers."
As stated in NJAMHAA's campaign, "To achieve social justice and equity, every individual must have access to mental health and substance use treatment; physical health care; housing; supported education and employment; and assistance in receiving benefits; as well as an array of other necessary services, such as child care and transportation." Collectively, NJAMHAA members provide all of these services and supports, and they are located in nearly every community throughout the state. However, access to these vitally important services has been limited due to years of insufficient funding and a declining workforce, which has dwindled significantly further as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Sufficient, ongoing investment in behavioral health care is essential for everyone in New Jersey's diverse population to receive the services they need and deserve. These services empower individuals to enjoy a high quality of life by being able to build lasting relationships and achieve educational, professional and other goals," Dr. Wentz stressed.
Click here to download NJAMHAA's Diverse Faces advocacy campaign.