Quarterly News & Updates

Summer | Issue XIX

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Youth Success Story

TCCMO supports individuals with a wide variety of challenges. Sam had a difficult time regulating his emotions and as a result, this impacted his schoolwork and his functioning at home. Sam is/was a very intelligent student with a bright future, but his emotions were getting the best of him. With the support for Care Manager, Nicole D., Sam was linked with an in-home therapist. Nicole and the team worked closely with he’s school district to ensure that his needs were being met both emotionally and academically. Throughout Sam’s involvement with TCCMO, Sam and Nicole stayed in communication almost daily and frequently, for hours at a time, whether it was a conversation or visit regarding a crisis or simply having “goofy conversations” to distract from the stressors of everyday life. Sam showed an incredible amount of determination and perseverance throughout their time at TCCMO by learning/utilizing coping skills and becoming more involved within his community and school. Sam successfully transitioned from TCCMO in December of 2021. After Sam’s transition from TCCMO, Sam contacted Nicole to inform her of all of the success that he has been making. Sam is now a successful high school student and was recently accepted into a program for high schoolers at a local community college. Sam has also been coaching girls’ basketball and is looking forward to playing football. Sam informed Nicole that he now prioritizes his mental health and has learned how to balance friends, family, school, work, and extracurriculars. Not only is Sam actively involved within the community, but he has also taken initiative to help others at school. Sam expressed to Nicole that he now views life as a blessing with so many opportunities. We at TCCMO are so proud of Sam’s accomplishments and we look forward to hearing about all of he’s future successes.  

For more information about programs like this check out this link-

Raritan Valley Community College

Getting to Know TCCMO...

This edition we would like to highlight one of our Warren County teams run by supervisor, Firishta Ahmadshahy. Firishta has worked in the CMO world for almost 14 years. She has shared that it is truly a rewarding experience knowing that she is making a difference and assisting in advocating for those who need it.

Read more about our team members!

Visit our Linktree today for more information, upcoming events and resources!

From the Desk of…

James Parauda, CEO

The Board Gaming Experience

Yes, this feature is about board games. This article is about the educational aspects of playing board games. On the surface, sitting down to play a game may just seem like some leisure activity to help kids stay busy. However, board games can help teach youth, of any age, some lifelong skills that can be used in school, career and even at home. 

At Tri County CMO, we have created a board gaming club to help youth begin to learn these important life skills through playing games. We also welcome their parents, family members and friends to come along and play as well. We are looking to schedule regular game nights monthly. Please let us know if you are interested to help us plan accordingly. You can contact Sandy Bishara at sbishara@tricountycmo.org.

Read More About Board Gaming

Welcome to Warren County CIACC

Warren County Children’s Inter Agency Coordinating Council (CIACC) has never been busier! CIACCs are county-based planning and advisory committees to the Department of Children and Families’ Children’s System of Care, who serve all youth, ages 0 to 21 residing in New Jersey. CIACCs are a coordinating system partner that support statewide initiatives in service planning for children and youth who have needs related to behavioral or mental health, intellectual or developmental disability, and/or substance use disorders. CIACC membership includes county government, community-based organizations, family and youth, agencies providing services, and representatives of state agencies. There are CIACCs in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties who know their local communities and have a common goal of improving outcomes for youth and their families.

Read More about Warren County CIACC

Pride in Partnership

Tri County CMO participated in Warren County's third annual health and wellness field day! This event was a made possible through the NJ Office of the Attorney General who awarded the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of James Pfeiffer, the Bolstering Police Youth Trust Program Grant. Warren County Commissioner Lori Ciesla, Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Shelton, and the co-chairs Doug Steinhardt and Laura Richter led the committee to a very successful youth-focused event at Warren Hills Regional High School. This event included participation of all public county high schools and middle schools, their local police departments, and NJ State Troopers as well. 

Read More About the Warren Wellness Event

TCCMO Mental Health Awareness Event

May 5th was National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day), a day created by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) more than a decade ago to shine a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child’s mental health and to reinforce the message that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. The purpose of Awareness Day is to increase public awareness about the needs of children with serious mental illness (SMI) and severe emotional disturbance (SED) and their families, provide information on evidence-based practices, and encourage those who need help to seek treatment.

Tri County CMO sponsored “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, The Impact of Anxiety & Trauma: How to Navigate in the Context Of the Pandemic.” The Family Support Organization of Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren was a co-sponsor. This event took place at Dreamweaver Equine Center, a non-profit in Hunterdon County which provides equine-assisted activities and social-emotional learning for individuals of all abilities and ages, starting as young as two years old. The event attracted more than 100 mental health professionals, as well as youth and families affected by mental and behavioral health issues.

Read More About our TCCMO Mental Health Event

Our amazing event location with animal interaction and fun at Dreamweavers!

Our sensory table with support from our community partners at The Midland School.

Register today for our upcoming Summer NHA Training opportunities!!

Register TODAY!

TCCMO's Growing Greatness at Warren Hills Regional High School

Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, the TCCMO Certified Nurtured Heart Approach™ Trainers have been working diligently with school districts in our area, as part of the statewide DREAMS initiative. Warren Hills Regional School District (WHRSD) has begun to implement the approach to build a positive school culture and climate. Throughout the pandemic, educators and students have had to adjust to the ever-changing rules and guidelines; this has created a significant impact on the overall wellbeing of educators and students. WHRSD has been utilizing the Nurtured Heart Approach™ to assist their staff and students in self-care and resetting.

Read more about WHRSD
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is World Watercolor Month! Watercolor is a beloved medium of children and adults alike, and often an introduction into the world of artwork for little ones across the globe. It is an ancient form of painting that has been around since paleolithic times; it is even suspected that watercolors have been used in cave paintings! Watercolors are some of the most affordable paints you can buy, easier to clean up than oils and acrylics, and allow for hours of creative exploration. Grab a pack of watercolors and get painting with your family to celebrate World Watercolor Month!

Explore the how to of watercolors for beginners.



is National Black Business Month! This month was founded in 2004 by historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan, Sr. to help showcase Black-owned businesses, which make up about 10% of all businesses in our country. Our neighboring state of New York has the most Black-owned businesses in the United States, but there are plenty to be found right here in New Jersey! Support some local Black-owned businesses this August by searching #NationalBlackBusinessMonth on social media. Found businesses to support in NJ 



is National Suicide Prevention Month- As we highlight this month annually as our role to support mental health with youth aged 5-21. There are an average of 123 suicides each day in this country. It’s the tenth leading cause of death in America — second leading for ages 25-34, and third leading for ages 15-24. Participate in this awareness and get involved with local organizations and listening to those who need help. Suicide, its causes, awareness around it, and its prevention are observed on National Suicide Prevention Month in September. For more information please visit-


Tri County CMO Board Members

Leslie Brusser-Board Chair

Melissa Fowler-Vice Chair

Don Atkinson-Treasurer

Erin Karl-Secretary

Pam Jacobs

Dan Kerr

Lynne Eaton

Lesley Schwarzman

David Yazujian

Sakina Ladha

Avril Okeke

Daphney Rene

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How to Get Referred to Tri County CMO

PerformCare can help a parent or guardian connect their child to Children’s System of Care services. PerformCare staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide assessment and guidance to families facing challenges to their functioning and well-being.

PerformCare / Contracted Systems Administrator (CSA)



http://www.performcarenj.org/families/index.aspx (video guide)