In response to news that the New Jersey Department of Human Services has received $2.8 million in federal funding to support behavioral health services like counseling and telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Middlesex), chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, released the following statement:
“Just as COVID-19 has impacted the physical health of thousands of New Jersey residents, the pandemic itself has taken a toll on our mental health. We are all experiencing severe disruptions to our daily lives. We are largely isolated from our friends and families. These steps have helped New Jersey slow the spread of the virus, but it hasn’t been easy. We are also facing staggering levels of unemployment, which many families are grappling with for the first time. And perhaps most troubling, we are not sure when this crisis will be over and when our lives will return to normal.
“Mental health needs to be a priority as we work toward recovery. This boost in funding will help the Department of Human Services expand its resources to help more people cope during this unprecedented crisis. Now more than ever, mental health programs will make a dramatic difference in the lives of so many New Jerseyans.”