Long Branch – On July 13, hospital staff gathered with Long Branch City and Police officials to announce a new partnership between the Long Branch Police Department and Monmouth Medical Center (MMC) Behavioral Health Services.
Through the Long Branch Police Department Resiliency Room, police officers who have responded to a critical incident can privately and confidentially receive psychological support from MMC’s outpatient behavioral health team.
The first of its kind in New Jersey, the Resiliency Room is a specially designed space located near the Police Department to promote the mental health of police officers. The room and its many resources are designed to help officers manage and cope with the daily stress of their jobs, providing a place for them to decompress and process and share their thoughts.
The dedication event included remarks by Long Branch Mayor John Pallone, MMC and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus President and CEO Eric Carney, Sergeant. Antonia Gonzalez of the LBPD, and Domingos A. Saldida, Public Safety Director for Long Branch.
Mayor Pallone noted that the stressful nature of police work makes these resources for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day so crucial, and expressed his thanks to Monmouth Medical Center for supporting the Resiliency Room with the hospital behavioral health resources. Following the Mayor’s remarks, Carney expressed the hospital’s commitment to the City of Long Branch and to working with a variety of community partners to support the City in whatever it needs.
“Through this new partnership, we are so pleased to share the expertise of our amazing mental health professionals in support of the Long Branch Police, our courageous frontline partners,” he said, adding that the hospital is proud to offer the largest and most comprehensive behavioral health program in Monmouth County. “Long Branch is such a fantastic host town for our hospital, and we can never thank the city enough, particularly over the last 18 months of our COVID journey together and witnessing the incredible work of all the frontline heroes. To watch this program come together has been transformational, and I congratulate Sgt. Gonzalez, who with the teamwork of her fellow officers, made this happen.”
Gonzalez, the founder of the program, noted in her remarks that she reached out to Monmouth Medical Center a year ago with her idea about creating a wellness program for her fellow officers. She said she understood the need from her own experience in the field and from listening to her fellow officers talk about their need for support.
“Thank you, Eric Carney, for listening and wanting to help our law enforcement officers in Long Branch,” said the 25-year Long Branch Police veteran and the first woman promoted to the rank of sergeant in LBPD history. “I look forward to watching this program grow; I am forever grateful to you Mr. Carney and to Monmouth Medical Center.”