Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
When you need mental health counseling or services you can call a community mental health agency in your area directly to arrange for an appointment. Many mental health agencies are listed in the telephone Yellow Pages under Mental Health Services, or you could call your local county office to locate an agency near you. For your local office contact information - County Mental Health Administrator's Office
The Division of Mental Health funds about 120 private, not-for-profit community agencies to provide a full range of mental health services. You will not be denied services if you are unable to pay for service at these state-supported agencies - each of these agencies has a sliding fee scale based on your ability to pay.
What if a person is in crisis?
Sometimes an individual is in emotional crisis and cannot wait for a regular appointment to receive services. To provide services in such situations, Screening/Crisis Centers were established in each county. Emergency services are provided 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and are typically located in general hospitals.
An individual may walk in without an appointment, or the individual may be brought to the screening center by a parent, friend, spouse, police officer, mental health worker, or any other concerned individual. If the person in crisis is unable or unwilling to come to the center, a mobile outreach team can be sent to the person. Find the contact information and much more in the NJ Department of Human Services Directory of Mental Health Services by County.
If inpatient hospitalization is needed, the screening center may refer the person to a State or County Hospital or to an inpatient bed located in a general hospital closer to the individual's residence. The goal of inpatient treatment is to stabilize the individual and to link the individual with needed community support services so that they can return to the community.
Special service are available to military veterans
Veterans suffering from psychological or emotional distress as well as those having difficulty re-assimilating back into civilian life following the conclusion of their mobilization for active duty service now have help available any time of the day or night.
NJ Vet2Vet, is a toll-free helpline, 866 VETS-NJ4 (866.838.7654) coordinated by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. This support is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Participants can use the live chat function on the website or communicate through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they prefer. NJ Vet2Vet provides veteran peer support, family support, case management, web-based peer support, live chat services and employment resources as well as referrals to a comprehensive network of mental health providers All services are free and confidential.
Read about other services for military personnel and their families.
Crisis Helplines will put you in touch with crisis counselors any time of the day or night
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey operates the New Jersey MentalHealthCares Helpline. Callers to the Helpline may receive supportive counseling, crisis assessment and intervention, and when needed a connection to appropriate resources and services.
Stress can surface in many forms and often appears weeks or months after a traumatic event. It may include anger, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, nightmares, depression, inability to concentrate, hyperactivity and/or increased alcohol or drug use. If you or someone you know is experiencing distress or feeling overwhelmed by painful emotions, call the New Jersey MentalHealthCares' Disaster Helpline: 866.202.4357 (HELP). A TTY line is available at 877.294.4356. Translation services are available as well.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. Reach out and ask for help at 800.273.TALK (800.273.8255).
Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative
Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative aims to improve the comfort and competency of primary care physicians and pediatricians to screen, identify and care to manage children with mental health concerns.
Senior Mental Health Services
When you grieve, you can feel both physical and emotional pain. Learn more about mourning a parent or spouse's death here
Talking with others about your Mental Health
Ideally, the people around you will understand your illness and encourage you. But the important people in your life might not know much about mental illness. Find out more information about talking with others and disclosing important information about mental illness from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).