TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has announced $22.5 million in proposed new investments to care for individuals with developmental disabilities, including new funding for individuals diagnosed with both developmental disabilities and mental health conditions.
“Our budget will provide critical resources to allow individuals with both developmental disabilities and mental health challenges to thrive in their communities,” Governor Murphy said during his Tuesday Budget Address.
“The Murphy Administration is committed to improved programs and services for individuals dually diagnosed with developmental disabilities and mental health concerns,” said Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “These individuals represent a particularly vulnerable population and require comprehensive coordinated treatment and support to help them live as independently as possible in the community. New innovations are crucial and with this initiative we’re increasing our capacity to care for these individuals and give them the services they need.”
The new funding for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health conditions would include $7 million proposed in Governor Murphy’s budget for next fiscal year. This funding would help garner $2.5 million in matching federal funds, for a total of $9.5 million.
The money would be used to:
- Double capacity of the Division of Developmental Disabilities community-based emergency beds by adding 20 new beds across the state, which can reduce the need for hospitalizations and get people in crisis home sooner;
- Develop a Medicaid Behavioral Health Home pilot program that would invest in building the capacity of health care providers to serve individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health issues; and
- Conduct a statewide review of in-patient stabilization services and funding mechanisms.
The Governor’s budget plan also calls for an additional $15.5 million in state funding to continue New Jersey’s emphasis on home and community-based services.
“The Arc of New Jersey is grateful to the Governor for putting needed resources into the service delivery system that enables thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live integrated lives in the community,” said Thomas Baffuto, executive director of The Arc of New Jersey. “Specifically, we applaud the addition of new funding to address the needs to those with I/DD and mental health needs. This segment of the population often requires specialized services and attention, and this new funding will help provide the critical supports in response to the unique challenges facing individuals with dual diagnosis and their families.”