Do you have a friend or loved one with a mental illness? Are you involved in caring for them? Do you feel stressed or tense trying to find the help you and your loved one needs?  Intensive Family Support Services (IFSS) can help. Operated by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen - our free and confidential assistance can alleviate some of your worry and anxiety and reduce the time you spend tediously searching for answers to questions and resources available to you. Our focus is on the family or significant caregiver and helping you feel supported, protected, and in control of your situation. You will receive individualized attention and support as your needs arise. The program offers weekly education groups and support groups. 

The purpose of IFSS is to improve the overall functioning and quality of life of families with relatives living with serious mental illness. Family members and professionals work collaboratively to provide you with knowledge, skills and support, which you identify as useful to your overall functioning and sense of control.

Staff members are available for individual in-home community family consultations. Specially educated, experienced and compassionate IFSS staff will meet with you in your home, or if you prefer, in a community setting to discuss IFSS services, provide consultation and information at times and days convenient for everyone.

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Medication education can be provided to teach you the role of medication in the management of mental illness, including discussions of the major drug classes and their therapeutic benefits and side effects.

Our Psycho-Education workshops assist with education on relevant topics such as: the bio neurological aspects and symptoms of mental disorders, reduction of hospitalization and relapse, coping and stress reduction strategies, adjusting to changes in the family upon a loved one’s diagnosis, education about the mental health system and the promotion of continuity of care, self-care, substance use, and estate planning. Our Psycho- Ed group meets every Wednesday night from 7-8:30 PM at Pluckemin Presbyterian Church in Pluckemin. There is no pre-registration needed and it is open to all.

Our Family Support Group meets every Monday from 7-8:30 PM at Pluckemin Church to increase families social support network to help reduce isolation. Families share concerns of social functioning to promote continuity of care for the family member living with a serious mental illness. Professionals will provide strategic intervention on a case by case basis. There is no pre-registration needed and is open to all loved ones of an individual with a mental illness.

Case management and peer support services provide help to navigate the health care and benefits system, furnish linkage to available service providers and community resources, and supply information on rights and protections to people living with mental illness. Need some help filling out the paperwork? We can assist with that as well.

Our clients are also offered respite activities to provide a chance to relax, connect, and recharge. Having a meal out, going to a play, or attending another out-of-home event in the community can provide temporary relief for the caregiver.

IFSS program is open to ALL Somerset County families and friends of adult individuals living with mental health illness. We currently serve over 50 families in Somerset County. There is no wait time to start with us, so call today and someone will be in touch generally within 24 hours. Our phone number is 908-722-1881 and our address is 540 US-22, Bridgewater Township.  For further information call or visit our website: