NEWARK, NJ — U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. announced Sept. 30 that community health care centers in New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District would receive $3,018,634 in grants, mainly to help these centers expand their capacity to diagnose and treat people with mental health issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were part of the American Rescue Plan and distributed through the Health Resources Services Administration.
“Community health centers nationwide have helped millions of Americans stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Payne said. “However, many of them are dealing with mental health issues as well as physical ones during this crisis. These grants will help health centers diagnose and help residents and children who are suffering from these issues due to the isolation and social distancing necessary to fight this deadly disease. I am proud to announce these grants because we need to provide these centers with all the resources possible to help residents in disadvantaged communities.”
The grants will go to four community health care providers in the district: the city of Newark’s health care system, Horizon Health Center in Jersey City, Metropolitan Family Health Network in Jersey City and Newark Community Health Centers. The funds from the grants can be used to train health professionals to work with schools to address the needs of children with behavioral health issues and provide staff training on behavioral health disparities in a diverse population. In addition, the grants will expand the capacity and availability of crisis beds, expand mobile crisis mental health services, improve mental health services for vulnerable populations in disadvantaged communities, and train health care staff to address mental health needs that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as grief, trauma, loneliness and isolation.