Mental Health Board

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The Somerset County Mental Health Board serves as an advisory board to the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and monitors the provision of a continuum of mental health services on behalf of residents. 

Twelve members are appointed for three-year terms. The Board meets a minimum of ten times a year, at 5 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month, at the Department of Human Services in Somerville. Regular meetings are open to the public. 

The diversity of the county population and perspectives of families and consumers are represented. Mental Health Board membership is described in NJSA 30:9A.

Responsibilities of the Mental Health Board include:

  • Develop Mental Health Plan.
  • Implement Mental Health Plan.
  • Recommend funding applications and affiliation agreements between state contracted agencies and community providers.
  • Monitor the provision of mental health services.
  • Community education.
  • Assist consumer advocacy and self-help groups.    

Somerset County Mental Health Plan

The Mental Health Plan establishes a comprehensive system of community health services for children and adults with mental illnesses and serious emotional disturbances. It identifies service needs and priorities, goals and objectives, and action plans to address service gaps and priorities. 

Monitoring

The Mental Health Board monitors the provision of mental health services under contract with the state Division of Mental Health Services. It also acts as the first level of outside appeal for client grievances regarding contracted agencies.

Community Education

 The Board encourages, develops, and participates in mental health community education.

Committees of the Mental Health Board

  • Planning Committee - Assures that the County Mental Health Plan and planning process fulfills the mission of the Mental Health Board.
  • Board Operations Committee - Plans annual orientation, updates bylaws, assesses membership needs and function of the board, evaluates the role of administrator, and reviews Professional Advisory Committee activities.
  • Contracts Review Committee - Monitors contracts over which the Mental Health Board has oversight, including remediation recommended by State reviews. Assures compliance of contracted services.

Professional Advisory Committee (PAC)

An advisory board of professionals that are appointed by the Mental Health Board Chairperson. The PAC provides technical assistance to the Mental Health Board, addresses issues, and conducts studies as requested. Task groups of the PAC address service needs and gaps in the county, including:

  • Housing
  • Jail Mental Health Service Needs
  • Mental Health Needs of the Elderly
  • May is Mental Health Month
  • Stigma, Community Education
  • Needs of Dually Diagnosed (Co-Occurring Disorders Task Force)