By Gabriella Dragone
Published October 11, 2023 at 9:44 AM
PATERSON, NJ – Paterson’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in partnership with the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, has entered into an agreement to receive a grant from the New Jersey Health Quality Institute (Quality Institute) and Walmart Inc. The grant, valued at $25,000, will support the launch of the Community Mental Health Ambassador Program.
This program has two primary objectives:
(1) Reducing Barriers to Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment: The program aims to raise awareness of available mental health and substance use treatment resources and facilitate direct connections for residents in need.
(2) Combating Mental Health Stigma and Enhancing Resource Awareness: The program will work with the city’s public information channels to provide education on mental health and promote open discussions on the topic, reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues.
“This grant gives us the opportunity to bring three mental health ambassadors on board,” Joel Ramirez, Director of Health and Human Services said. “They will provide information on available resources and connect residents with mental health institutions, clinics, hospitals, and behavioral health services within our city.”
The grant agreement outlines that 90% of the total award amount, $22,500, will be awarded upon contract execution, with the remaining 10% disbursed upon completion of the final report. Any unexpended funds at the end of the contract period will be returned to the Quality Institute within 30 days.