CarePlus InsideLIne
April 2017 - "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." 
Please Join Us in Celebration
Building Community Connections

The CarePlus Foundation will hold its 19th Annual Courage Awards Gala on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at the Venetian in Garfield, benefiting the clients and programs of CarePlus NJ. This year's Courage Award recipients include law enforcement, legislators and celebrity guests.

The Gala celebrates those who tirelessly advocate on behalf of the mental health community. Proceeds fund educational scholarships, housing and medication assistance, substance abuse services, outpatient treatment and therapy for children and adults who are enrolled in CarePlus services, as well as advocacy and community education.

View our auction items and start your bidding online:

The esteemed honorees this year include:


Carmen Carrera for her fearless leadership with HIV and LGBTQ advocacy, and for her education on transgender experience, tolerance and understanding - Press Release Here 


Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal for his instrumental role in bringing CIT training to Bergen County by emphasizing the need for collaboration between law enforcement and mental health providers, and for his leadership in taking action to #StopTheODs  -  Press Release Here 


Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle (D37) for her legislative motion to establish thorough oversight of the funding transition for the community mental health system - Press Release Here 


Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R39) for her voice and support of the advocacy efforts regarding the funding transition for the community mental health system - Press Release Here 


The Port Authority Police Department for their collaboration in suicide prevention on the George Washington Bridge and involvement with the Crisis Intervention Team - Press Release Here 

This year we will be awarding a record $80,000 in scholarships
 to individuals who receive our services. 

Registration includes a cocktail hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, and a 50/50 raffle. 
We would like to express our gratitude to the board members and staff that participated in the 2017 Courage Awards Gala Committee and helped to make this all possible!

Contact the Foundation Office if you have any questions:

Paramus to Launch HART Program
to Address Bergen County Heroin Epidemic

The Paramus Police Department ("Paramus PD") will work with Care Plus NJ, Inc. ("CarePlus") to launch the Heroin Addiction Recovery Team ("HART") program in Paramus on May 3rd. Those seeking recovery will be able to turn themselves in at the police station and be connected with services to meet their needed level of care.

Funded with $118,000 in grants from the Robert & Catherine Murray Charitable Trust, the Knight Family Charitable Foundation, Inc., and the Care Plus Foundation, Inc., and with the support of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, the team will act as a comprehensive support system for individuals battling addiction.

"The goals of the HART program include alleviating the burden of low level drugs, decriminalizing those individuals seeking treatment, and connecting them with the most appropriate and effective continuum of care," stated Joe Masciandaro, CEO and President at CarePlus. "We are incredibly grateful to those organizations that have generously provided funding for us to get started, and impressed with Prosecutor Grewal, Chief Ehrenberg and the entire Paramus PD for their compassion and eagerness to take on this project."

Masciandaro asserts that there are four pillars to recovery in behavioral health care: primary health care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and access to social supports. All of these components can be addressed through the team, which will be composed of the police, the care providers, the family and the individual in recovery.

The vision is inspired by what they are doing in Ocean County. People show up to police stations with their drugs and paraphernalia, and instead of being incarcerated, they have the opportunity to be connected with rehabilitation services. Similar efforts are being made throughout the state, including in Mahwah. The HART project is also expected to launch in Lyndhurst this May.

"Our partners at Integrity House shared the details of a number of similar models that they are  involved in. Between their experience and willingness to contribute, and the CarePlus expertise in coordinating care around Bergen County, we are confident about our capacity for success," Masciandaro continued. "It seems to be the obvious next step for our community, with the high level of collaboration between law enforcement and behavioral health professionals through the Crisis Intervention Team trainings." 
Every Wednesday, the Paramus Police Department will allow for those seeking help to show up between 9am-5pm to be connected the treatment team. Individuals with warrants for their arrest will have to address those issues before being connected to services.

Read the full press release here...

For more information on the HART program in Paramus, contact Katherine Coleman, ED.M, MA, LPC, LCADC at (201) 986-5045 or Tara Walsh, LAC, NCC at 201-265-8200 x5450.

Daily Voice: Paramus Police Department Opens Doors To Drug Addicts Seeking Recovery 

Upcoming Trainings

Play Therapy With Children & Families
4 Clinical CEHs for Social Workers
4 NBCC Hours for Counselors 
May 4 - 10:00 am - 2:30 pm
  Register Here

Immigration, Acculturation
and Mental Health Challenges
4 Clinical CEHs for Social Workers 
June 1 @ 9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Register Here
Staff Wellness

FREE OF CHARGE, held in the conference room at 610 unless otherwise indicated.

Triaxial Yoga with Caitlyn Yerves
Thursday, May 11th 6 pm

Tai Chi with Deanne Hodgson 
Tuesday, May 30th 10 am  

Please RSVP to Caitlyn if you plan to attend, if you would like to be added to the staff wellness offerings email list, or if you have suggestions for training topics.

Employee Assistance Program

Did you know that you have access to resources pertaining to everyday life right at your fingertips? With this Employee Assistance Program, you have access to information and resources for family, health, money and much more.   
Be sure to explore the website: 
Login: CPNJ
Password: 123  
Webinar of the Month - 4/18/17 
"Raising Well-Adjusted Kids"
Available On Demand
Starting 12pm Eastern Time 

"Review the current research and science behind raising well-adjusted kids. Learn tips to foster positive mental health in the children and teens in your life."

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Bell in the Human Resources Department.

myStrength - Step 1

(Personal Account for Staff)
  1. Visit, and Sign Up
  2. Use Access Code: CareplusWellness
  3. Begin exploring the site!
Contact Caitlyn for more information.

Spotlight on Children's Mobile Response & Stabilization System

This year marks the 15th Anniversary of NJ's Children's System of Care (CSOC), which has been recognized nationally as a model program.

A key component of the this system is our Children's Mobile Response and Stabilization System, which provides families with 24/7 response, allowing us to meet families with youth or children where they are at, when they need help most.

Our dedicated team of Crisis Response Workers have been working tirelessly to serve Bergen County around the clock, with ever increasing service demands; in March 2017 we marked an all-time high census, as we dispatched to 200 youth.
As we celebrated the team's hard work, we also acknowledged our Presumptive Eligibility Coordinator, Diana Ciriaco, who was identified as the top performer across the state within the CSOC.

Diana has been working with our program staff, and directly with families, as a liaison to the state's CSOC and Medicaid for nine years, assisting families and advocating to ensure insurance coverage.
Further, we want to acknowledge our Clinical Coordinator Leah Halka for volunteering to participate in a systems review of our peers all the way down in Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem counties.

Leah dedicated time over two days in April to meet with and interview families currently receiving Children's Mobile services in their county, and she offered valuable feedback to the providers and the system at large to further enhance the quality of care and coordination we provide.
Go Team!

School-Based Praise 
A Message from the
New Milford School District
I just want to say again how pleased we are with John Paul. He has been the consummate professional and everyone he works with feels this way. He has worked closely with CST, teachers, families and most importantly students. John Paul has been a wonderful resource for us. He has a keen ability to see right through to the heart of the situation in a quick manner. I certainly hope that he stays with us next year. In addition, I hope we can have an intern to learn from him. I think overall we have a wonderful relationship with CarePlus and I would love to have others learn and grow with our porgram.

Keep on shining, JP!

Enhance Your Service with myStrength Online!
Learn How to Engage Your Client in Wellness Through Technology 

CarePlus New Jersey is excited to announce that you have access to the tools and resources available via our partnership with myStrength, Inc... myStrength is available for FREE online,  and offers evidence-based tools and resources for treatment, providing wellness and self-help resources to improve self-care for our clients, our community and our staff. 
myStrength offers a range of personalized web and mobile resources to improve mental health and overall well-being. Each user's myStrength experience is unique, based on the individual's wellness assessment and personal profile. The program includes: eLearning to help overcome stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and substance use disorders; simple tools and exercises as well as trackers and daily inspirational quotes and videos -- in an online environment that's safe and secure.

myStrength uses proven, evidence-based materials grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Positive Psychology and other empirically validated therapeutic approaches. myStrength is designed to be used independently or in conjunction with other care.

Referring your clients to myStrength provides them with private resources 24/7 to empower their recovery and extend the impact of your care. Be sure to create your personal account so that you can start to experience the benefits, and then share them with those you serve! 
Additional myStrength benefits:
  • myStrength is personal, proven and private.
  • myStrength supports the whole person, mind, body and spirit, with customized resources and programs based on the user's personal profile and wellness assessment results.
  • myStrength is highly interactive and fun to do.
  • myStrength meets users where they are with CBT learning modules, quick-tip videos, mood tracking and articles customized to each user.
  • myStrength is mobile. Share the myStrength app for mental fitness on the go. Compatible with iOS and Android. Members can log in to the app with their myStrength email and password.
  • myStrength is easy to share and easy to use. Just share an access code, and get your clients started.
  • myStrength makes excellent between-session homework. Users can build CBT skills, practice relaxation, develop insight and awareness ­ without you creating endless handouts!
  • myStrength is a health club for the mind. Help your clients build healthy habits for sustained mental health.
  • myStrength is there when you aren't. Extend the impact of your care with this 24/7 tool.
  • myStrength is FREE for you and for your clients.
  • myStrength accounts don't expire. Share this resource that will still be there after your care ends.
Moving into the summer months, we will be working to increase staff engagement in our myStrength resources. If you would like to act as a wellness champion for your department, please contact Caitlyn.

State Funding Transition:
Advocacy Action Steps

1. Write Letters & Make Phone Calls
You can use the following link to find your legislators. Simply enter your hometown and you will get all of the information you need:
Please note: some letters will be more detailed than others, but short and simple contributions are important as well.
2. Story Telling Campaign
Part of our advocacy campaign is to collect written or video testimonials by clients, family, and staff. This campaign is expected to grow into a larger, more powerful storytelling campaign that will launch through a "Humans of CarePlus" Instagram account.
We need your help: if you are a staff member that would be willing to participate, or if you have a client that has a story to tell, please contact Caitlyn .
We will be able to work with people who would like to remain anonymous, and think that this will be a very engaging way to increase our culture of community and compassion.

3. Get Educated & Stay Up To Date

There is a Facebook page dedicated to these advocacy efforts. Created as a public group, this will be the forum for people to use with social media. This page will share resources for you to stay involved. Please "like" the page to stay up to date: Fund Mental Health In NJ 2017

Connect with CarePlus on Social Media!

Facebook         Twitter          LinkedIn
Program Marketing 
It is important for staff to familiarize themselves with the variety of program and services offered through CarePlus so that we can make appropriate referrals for those in need. For that reason, we are working on streamlining information and materials so that they are more easily accessible.

This involves appropriately updated Program Fact Sheets, comprehensive marketing folders, social media spotlights, and up to date information on the CarePlus website.

A new folder has been added to the S Drive so that staff can quickly access Program Information Sheets. These Fact Sheets can be found in the first folder in All Staff titled _FactSheets.  

If you need any materials created, revised, or printed for your program or presentations you will need to utilize the electronic request form. This new system is being used to ensure timely and effective completion of projects.   


You may have noticed recent Facebook posts highlighting some of our services. This is the part of our effort to market each of our programs to the community.


If you would like to put your team, group or program in the spotlight, contact the ACE team to make arrangements.


You can also send positive reviews and feedback for coworkers who go above and beyond. If you have anything you would like to submit for the InsideLine, email your story and information to Caitlyn Yerves.

Do YOU have a story to share? If you have a story, update, announcement, or photos to share on the InsideLine, on Facebook, or on the website, send it to the ACE team and we will work to get it out to staff and friends of CarePlus.

Obligatory disclaimer ("the gray area"): This newsletter is compiled by humans, and you know how humans are: we make occasional mistakes - not too many, but they do happen. Please do not consider a rush in judgment. We - "the humans" - apologize in advance for any omissions, inaccuracies, misspellings, and flagrant discombobulations. Should you desire to suggest a correction or addition, please email Caitlyn.

You can even just email if you'd like to say you do (or do not) like the Inside Line, however no cursing or inflammatory remarks, please, as we are humans.