NJ – State Reduces Patient Numbers in State Psychiatric Hospitals, Expands Community Programs
April 2017 ~
The New Jersey Department of Human Services has exceeded the goals outlined in a 2009 court settlement that required state officials to expand local programs for adults with mental illness and transfer qualified individuals in state hospitals to community facilities.
On March 28, the NJ Spotlight reported that the New Jersey Department of Human Services continues to exceed its goals to expand local programs for adults with mental illness and transfer qualified individuals in state hospitals to community facilities.
The imposed goals were originally outlined in a 2009 court settlement and required state officials to expand local programs for adults with mental illness and do more to transfer those who no longer needed the support of state hospitals into less-restrictive lifestyles in community facilities.
“As a result of the settlement, the state put in place new practices and shifted resources to avoid needlessly hospitalizing individuals with serious mental illness and to ensure that such individuals have the chance to live in the most integrated setting,”” explained Bazelon Center for Mental Health’s director of Policy and Legal Advocacy, Jennifer Mathis.
NJ’s Department of Human Services announced the state has added 1,436 beds in supportive programs over the past six years, exceeding the 1,065 threshold in the settlement. The state has also been successful in reducing the number of patients in state psychiatric hospitals by one-third over 10 years – from over 2,100 to about 1,400.
“The state is providing a greater array of these resources, which helps to prevent unnecessary hospitalization and to assist consumers to attain and sustain recovery with as little disruption as possible to their work and home lives. We’re incredibly proud of these advances and the positive impact it has for consumers,” said Elizabeth Connolly, DHS acting commissioner.
Source(s): HMA; NJ Spotlight;