The Mission of the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic is to provide comprehensive outpatient and school- based services to children, adults and families who are experiencing emotional and/or behavioral difficulties.
The main focus of Clinic intervention is to help clients become positive, productive members of their communities.
The Mental Health Clinic of Passaic is a private, not-for-profit, 501 (c) (3) community organization licensed by the NJ Department of Human Services and the NJ Department of Children & Families.
Governed by a Board of Directors, the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic employs more than 100 professionals, para-professionals and support staff.
Vigorous innovative growth has been a hallmark of the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic since its beginnings.
In July 1967, the Mental Health Clinic of Southern Passaic County is incorporated as a merger of St. Mary’s Hospital Child Guidance Clinic in Passaic and a branch office of the Clinic for Mental Health Services in Paterson. The Clinic is initially located in the old Passaic City Hall on Passaic Avenue (now part of the administration building of the Passaic Board of Education). It serves about 125 individuals (only one bi-lingual English/Spanish) with a staff of six (all but one part-time) with an annual budget of $60,000.
In 1968 the Clinic’s name is changed to the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic.
In October 1970 the Clinic moves from City hall to rented space in half of what is now the 111 Lexington Avenue site. This move gives the Clinic the ability to increase staff and mental health services.
In 1972, as an outpatient arm of the Community Mental Health Center of Passaic and Clifton, the Clinic embarks on its specialization of mental health services to children. The Therapeutic Children’s Program, a partial care/day treatment program for emotionally disturbed children between ages 2 ½ and 6, is established and operates out of the sub-basement of St. John’s Lutheran Church on Lexington Avenue.
In 1975, with a combined federal and state grant, the Clinic purchases and renovates the 111 Lexington Avenue building and continues its advocacy to provide children’s services. That year the Therapeutic Children’s Program moves to space at the Passaic Boys and Girls Club.
In 1976 the Clinic opens the Family Center, an intensive child abuse and neglect treatment unit serving Passaic and Clifton. The Family Center, a community-based, family-oriented service targeting those who experience abusive and/or neglectful behaviors, is located in the Alfred Speer Village housing complex.
In the late 1970’s the Clinic begins to offer psychiatric services to the Passaic School System.
The 1980’s bring a continued push for children’s mental health services but with minimal State dollars. The Clinic sees an increase in money problems. As services increase, it becomes difficult to fund new programs.
In 1982 the Clinic establishes the Children’s Outreach Home Visiting Advocacy Program, a program that serves youth and their families throughout Passaic County. Many of these youth are returning home after psychiatric hospitalization and can benefit from services to aid in their being mainstreamed into their communities. The program name later changes to the Community Care Program.
That same year (1982) the Family Center moves from Speer Village to the Passaic YMCA.
In 1982 the Therapeutic Children’s Program is renamed the Ida Gurtman Therapeutic Children’s Program in honor of its benefactor Mrs. Ida (William) Gurtman. The program also moves from the Passaic Boys & Girls Club to its current site at the Ahavas Israel Passaic Park Jewish Community Center.
In 1985 the Clinic is awarded funding for one Youth Case Manager to serve youth in Passaic County. The services provided by the program are assessment, information, advocacy and referral for hard to reach youth and their families. Many of the youth have been psychiatrically hospitalized and are returning to the community. They need an array of mental health services that requires extensive service coordination and linkages and the Clinic provides these.
In 1988 the Passaic Board of Education opens the School Based Youth Services Program in Passaic High School for which the Clinic provides mental health consultation. The SBYSP becomes a unit of the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic in 1989.
In 1989 the Clinic expands its partial care services by developing a county-wide mental health after school program for ages 6 to 11. It is situated along with the SBYSP in the Dutch Reformed Church in Passaic. When the Church needs the rented space, the SBYSP moves to the basement of the Presbyterian Church in Passaic, and the Partial Care/Day Treatment Program for ages 6-11 moves to a building on Central Avenue in Clifton.
In 1993 the Clinic expands the School Based Youth Services Program to include Passaic Lincoln Middle School.
In 1994 the Clinic begins to provide consultation services to Youth Haven, a teen residence located in Paterson.
At this time it is evident to the Clinic that its growth has necessitated a search for another facility. In 1995 the Clinic is awarded a State Construction Grant for the purchase of a new building.
In 1996 the Clinic moves its administration, PC 6-11, Youth Case Management and the Community Care Program to its new building at 1451 Van Houten Avenue in Clifton. The Family Center moves from the Passaic YMCA into the 111 Lexington Avenue building.
In 1997, at the Clifton building, the Clinic opens a second unit of the Ida Gurtman Therapeutic Children’s Program to serve Clifton and Paterson and the surrounding areas. The same year School Based Youth Services relocates from the Presbyterian Church basement to rented space in a building across from Passaic High School.
In the late 1990’s the SBYSP, through its Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, joins with Passaic Beth Israel Hospital and Planned Parenthood to provide a Teen Health Clinic. Today the Teen Health Clinic is a joint effort between the North Hudson Federally Funded Qualified Health Center and SBYSP.
In 1999, in collaboration with St. Clare’s Hospital, the Clinic embarks on a joint project to address the needs of the adult mental health population. The Clinic co-sponsors the first Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurse Initiative and continues into the present to increase services to the adult population needing medication monitoring.
In 2000 the Clinic contracts with the Passaic Board of Education to provide Early Childhood Education and opens two Abbott classes at the Ahavas Israel Passaic Park Community Center. The contractual arrangement continues until 2011, when the Passaic Board of Education opens a new school for Early Childhood education.
In 2001 the Clinic partners with the Passaic Board of Education to provide the 21st Century Community Learning Center/ Quality of Life after-school program at three Passaic schools. In 2005 federal funding is replaced by state funding until 2013.
In 2003 Youth Case Management is increased from one Case Manager to two, then to four, and by 2004 it is increased to thirteen Case Managers with a Program Director. It becomes necessary to relocate the Program from 1451 Van Houten Avenue to rented space at a local church.
In September 2005, the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic receives a grant to provide New Jersey After 3, an after-school program, at Passaic’s Martin Luther King, Jr. elementary school #6.
In 2005 the Clinic purchases the building directly across the street from Passaic High School (that it has been renting) for the School Based Youth Services Program. The building will house the SBYSP administrative office and the Parent Linking Program with its Child Care Center, “Baby Steps.”
In January 2007, the Clinic expands New Jersey After 3 into School #11 in Passaic. The Clinic continues to operate this program at both schools until 2010, when funding is cut. The Clinic, then, closes the program at School #11 and focuses on continuing to provide after-school programming at School # 6.
In 2012, with changes to the children’s system of care in New Jersey, the Youth Case Management program is folded into the Passaic County Care Management Organization.
In 2013 the Clinic partners with the Passaic Board of Education to run the Extended Day/Extended Year After School Program for the 2013-2014 school year.
Due to lack of funds, the Clinic’s after school program at Passaic School # 6, is closed at the end of the 2013-2014 academic school year. During July and August 2014 the Clinic collaborates with the Passaic Board of Education for the “Jump into Summer” recreation program.
In fall 2014 the Clinic partners with the Passaic Board of Education for the ACCESS After School Program.