New satellite office opens to meet mental health needs


More than 43 million Americans struggle with a mental health issue – that’s more than the populations of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania combined. Yet more than half of them do not receive professional treatment, according to Mental Health America. Shame, stigma, a shortage of healthcare workers, and poverty are reasons many don’t seek care.

To counter that trend, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton’s Guidance Clinic has partnered with Capital Health to open a new satellite office to meet the mental health needs of primary care visitors. The outpatient program, operated by Catholic Charities, opened six weeks ago at Capital Health-Fuld’s primary care clinic at 832 Brunswick Ave. (Pictured, at left, are Lisa Da Paz, certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHC) care coordinator, and clinician Marcia MacKillop, LCSW, who work in the new program.)

The initiative, called the Urban Community Care Collaborative, is aimed at meeting the unaddressed mental health needs of people who go to Capital Health for unrelated physical injuries or complaints.

“It provides another opportunity for people to get the help and support they need to cope with the challenges of their lives,” said Karalee Pieluc, who oversees the new effort. “More and more mental health practitioners are embedding in primary care practices to close this gap in treatment.”

The office is open 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Fridays and next month will add office hours on Tuesdays.

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