Montclair Foundation gifts $1,000 to Main St. Counseling Center

MONTCLAIR / WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Montclair Foundation recently awarded a $1,000 grant to Main Street Counseling Center, a 37-year-old nonprofit community mental health agency based in West Orange that serves low-income and underinsured individuals and families throughout Greater Northern New Jersey. The grant will support Crisis Intervention Team training. This innovative weeklong workshop improves community safety by helping law enforcement officers better address mental health crises.

CIT training is an intensive 40-hour course that explains mental illness to police officers, provides communication strategies for de-escalating intense situations and builds officers’ cultural competence. The training occurs at the Essex County Police Academy in Cedar Grove and is led by Montclair Police Lt. Richard Cavanaugh and Patricia Keenan, assistant director of the Essex County Hospital Center.

Officers from every town in the county attend the program. The weeklong course is held several times during the year, educating 40 to 50 officers at a time.

Main Street Counseling Center opened in 1980 and today serves more than 500 clients each week. Main Street Counseling removes barriers to care by providing bilingual services, owning a handicapped-accessible facility, and accepting Medicaid and Medicare.