Dear Colleague,

Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman has distributed information on 988, the new three-digit number that will be available for call, text or chat for individuals experiencing a mental health-related or suicidal crisis, or those looking to help a loved one through a crisis. The 988 number will be activated on Saturday, July 16, 2022. The aim of 988 is to improve access to crisis services in a way that meets the country’s growing suicide and mental health-related crisis care needs.

The New Jersey Department of Human Services has created a 988 tool kit with promotional materials to help spread the word about 988. The tool kit includes In English and Spanish: social media posts and graphics, flyers, a brochure and a wallet card.

 Crisis Assessment Response and Enhanced Services (CARES)
for Individuals with IDD
1-888-393-3007, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

In addition to the new 988 number discussed above, there is an important resource that is specific to helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who are having a mental health or behavioral health crisis. It is called the Crisis Assessment Response and Enhanced Services program (CARES).  This program provides crisis response and stabilization services for a period up to 120 days to adults (age 21 and older) with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and there is no fee for these services.

CARES staff are located in regional offices and respond anywhere in New Jersey to assist individuals with IDD who are in mental health or behavioral crisis.  CARES can prevent unnecessary hospitalizations by helping manage behavioral crises in place, and assisting individuals, family members and professional staff obtain needed expertise to support someone in crisis.  

CARES works with individuals, their families, staff and providers by offering:

  • Direct response at the time of crisis in family homes, residential placements, day programs or emergency rooms.
  • Consultations at psychiatric inpatient units
  • Training and technical support to families, guardians, and both I/DD and mental health service providers.
  • Connection with ongoing support resources.

Please share this information with others who may also be interested.

Thank you.


Beverly Roberts
Director, Mainstreaming Medical Care
The Arc of New Jersey
985 Livingston Avenue
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Direct line and fax: 732.246.2567
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Click here to see The Arc of NJ's COVID-19 information and resource page. 
Click here to access information from the State Of New Jersey on COVID-19.