Press release from Mental Health Association of Monmouth County

Families and individuals whose lives were impacted by Hurricane Sandy will be provided with free mental health and expert information and referral services through July 2016, thanks to a generous grant awarded to the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently awarded a grant in the amount $199,821 to sustain and expand mental health and social services in Monmouth County, related to the ongoing effects of the October 2012 “superstorm.” The MHA will continue to provide those services locally at the Red Bank Resource Network, now located at 103 Drs. James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank.

Although it has been almost three years since Hurricane Sandy, many Monmouth County residents are still affected by and struggling with recovery from the disaster. The Sandy Wellness mental health counselors will continue to provide much needed free mental health services at the Red Bank location, as well as in Keansburg, Shrewsbury, and Manasquan.

“We are so grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for helping with sustainability for another year,” said MHA Executive Director, Wendy DePedro. “We are honored to be one of the few agencies left in Monmouth County who are able to offer these much needed free counseling services for those still affected by Hurricane Sandy.”

RBRN, a community center based on the Department of Children and Family (DCF) family success center model, is unique in that both licensed mental health counselors and expert Information and Referral Specialists are located in one location. RBRN is a community organization seeking to strengthen families and communities by offering bilingual assistance with applications, such as the Affordable Care Act, NJ Family Care/Medicaid, food stamps, housing, utility, and employment.  RBRN staff provides links with social services and job search assistance, as well as a business center with computers, fax, and internet for use at no cost.

RBRN continues to expand services for the youth of Red Bank. Homework Club is offered, allowing students to have a quiet work space, assistance with their homework, and use of computers.  Through a collaboration with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, Ocean First Bank, and Red Bank Regional High School, teenagers are being offered a four week banking and saving workshop.

“Our new location, 103 Drs. James Parker Boulevard, is open and operating.  As we are now conveniently located next to other community partner organizations, such as Lunch Break and Monmouth Day Care Center, we hope that more consumers will visit our walk-in center than ever before.” said Director of RBRN’s Community Based Services, Deanna Sovern.

RBRN will be hosting an open house for MHA supporters and the general public on Thursday, September 10 from 4 to 7:30 pm. All who are interested in knowing more about RBRN, Sandy Wellness Counseling, and the free programs and services that are available are encouraged to join MHA to celebrate the opening of this new location. Go here for more information about RBRN, or make an appointment with a Sandy Wellness Counselor by calling (732)542-6422.