NEW JERSEY- Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, a leader in psychiatric rehabilitation services in New Jersey, honored recipients of its annual Community Partnership Awards at a ceremony on Tuesday. Bridgeway also debuted an exclusive video, “Bridge to a New Life,” which features its “persons served” and an original song by New Jersey rock and soul band GoodWorks to raise awareness about mental illness, addiction and recovery.

The Bridgeway Community Partnership Awards recognize individuals and organizations that contributed significant time and energy to helping Bridgeway achieve agency-wide goals. This year’s award recipients are:

  • Barbara Johnston, Director of Advocacy and Policy, Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) – worked tirelessly with the leadership of Bridgeway to ensure the highest quality services to people experiencing mental health disorders and to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • Paula Avioli, Ph.D., professor, Kean University, School of Psychology – spent years helping the Bridgeway Self-Sufficiency Committee make decisions about granting and loaning funds in order to help “persons served” achieve a personal goal, such as getting a job or returning to school.
  • Dominic Paolella, regional manager, Verizon Wireless -- He and his team spearheaded an effort to launch a ground-breaking pilot program that put cellphones and health and wellness monitoring software in the hands of our Bridge-to-Wellness participants, who actively work to increase physical wellness in the integrated physical and mental health program.
  • Paul Lavenhar, president and owner, PL Communications -- dedicated his professional time and talents, along with his staff and his band GoodWorks, to raise money and awareness for non-profit organizations that do good works, like Bridgeway. 

“Each year Bridgeway takes time out to acknowledge the work and achievements of the people that we serve and also the community partners who help us achieve our organizational goals. This year’s honorees exemplify the power of community spirit,” said Cory Storch, CEO of Bridgeway. “All our honorees have dedicated personal as well as professional time and resources to Bridgeway for which we are extremely grateful. This year’s awards ceremony is extra special with the premier of ‘A Bridge to a New Life,’ the original music video written and produced by award recipient Paul Lavenhar and performed by GoodWorks.”

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One of the singers featured in the music video is a “person served” who has received help and support from Bridgeway services. The lyrics were inspired by Bridgeway’s mission to help people with severe mental disabilities find a path to recovery, as in the chorus: “Lift me up like an angel, A bridge-way to my new life, Support and love like a family, A bridge-way, my bridge to my new life.”  The music video is available online here:

“GoodWorks used the words of Bridgeway’s staff and ‘persons served’ -- recovery, strength, love and life – to help Bridgeway tell their story in a compelling way,” said Paul Lavenhar, GoodWorks band founder and songwriter. “We felt a music video was a unique way to tell Bridgeway’s story and help diminish the stigma of mental illness.”

About Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services Inc.

Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services is recognized as a statewide leader in psychiatric rehabilitation services.  Bridgeway is a nonprofit mental health services agency whose mission is to assist those Central and Northern New Jersey residents who have the most severe mental disabilities yet have the potential to recover, be self-sufficient and live in and contribute to their communities.  For 45 years, Bridgeway has provided services to adults who are facing multiple challenges that are prevalent in people with chronic mental illness.  Bridgeway services are available in 11 Central and Northern New Jersey counties. For more information, visit www.Bridgewayrehab.org.

About GoodWorks

GoodWorks is the charitable arm of PL Communications, a New Jersey-based marketing communications firm. It has helped New Jersey food banks, school music programs, healthcare programs, special needs services and community arts programs among others. For more information, visit www.goodworksband.com.