As a passionate advocate for mental health, Assemblyman Herb Conaway, M.D. visited the Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton’s Westampton facility Wednesday to learn more about the mental health program that opened there earlier this year.
Conaway was welcomed by several of the organization’s directors who then led him on a tour, explaining the function of each area of the facility and what services patients are able to access.
The Crisis Intervention Support Services (CISS) program was started in January 2019 after the non-profit agency received a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The goal of the program is to provide stabilization as well as both short and long-term support for adults facing a mental health crisis.
Emphasis is placed on reaching out to and assisting former military members, since veterans tend to experience mental health problems at a higher rate than the general population.
“With more than 30,000 Burlington County residents having served in the military at some point in their lives, our county must find ways to help the veterans who experience mental health issues as a result of their experiences,” said Assemblyman Conaway (D-Burlington). “I am pleased to see that this local program offers solutions for local veterans seeking help. I believe it can serve as a statewide model.”
The tour guides further explained that the program is not just limited to veterans. Any adult experiencing a mental health crisis such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder can benefit from services such as individual or group therapy, psychiatric evaluations, medication management and more.
The event concluded with a roundtable discussion about crisis intervention services and suggestions regarding helpful legislation.
“I want to thank the Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton for showing me around their facility and for establishing a program that will greatly benefit the residents of our county,” Conaway said. “It is crucial that anyone struggling with a mental health issue has access to proper treatment and support. I will continue to do what I can, as well, to ensure that our state supports services such as those offered by this critical program.”