through counseling, housing and education.
In October 1962, a group of concerned citizens met to discuss the mental health needs of Pequannock Valley area residents. This meeting was initiated by local ministers who were facing ever increasing requests for counseling. To solve this dilemma, the Northeast Morris County Guidance Center was founded under the leadership of the Reverend Donner B. Atwood of the First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains. To avoid confusion with another area organization, a decision was quickly made to change the name to Pequannock Valley Mental Health Center.
Opening its doors on December 23, 1963 in the former Pompton Plains Library building next to town hall, the center was staffed by one full-time social worker and a secretary. The center was to conduct a program of mental health services for the adults and children in the six communities of Butler, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville Township, Pequannock Township and Riverdale.
Over the next 10 years, Pequannock Valley Mental Health Center grew steadily. The service area was extended to include the communities of Boonton, Boonton Township, East Hanover and Mountain Lakes. During this time, the Center moved its office within Pequannock Township from its original location on the Municipal Plaza, to 512 Newark Pompton Turnpike, and in 1975 to its present location of 21 Evans Place, Pompton Plains. These moves were necessitated by the growing number of clients, staff and services and the need for additional program space.
The year 1977 proved to be a banner year as the Center tripled in size with the addition of new programs. Community Care funding underwrote a new Transitional Care Program, which expanded the Day Treatment Center to full time and provided new psychiatric emergency services and boarding home services. It also increased counseling services for at-risk clients. In addition, the Youth Services Bureau (YSB) was established with a grant from the State Law Enforcement Planning Agency. YSB arose from an unmet need in the community to provide mental health services to the adolescent population.
Further programs were established in the years to come in response to other community needs. In 1980 the Outreach Program to assist at-risk clients was established, followed by Project 70001 Jobs PLUS Youth Employment Program in 1981, and the Community Residence in 1983. Other new programs expanded the Center's services including Project FYI (Families and Youth In-touch) in 1986 and Adolescent Partial Care in 1987.
In June 1998, the agency changed its name to NewBridge and assumed responsibility for providing the continuum of publicly funded mental health services for Upper Passaic County.
Since its inception, NewBridge has provided outpatient counseling services to children and families as well as substance abuse treatment for individuals and families. With a preventative approach to abuse and neglect, NewBridge is committed to providing comprehensive and extensive programming to empower today's children, parents, teachers and members of the community. Through the use of prevention programs and educational techniques, NewBridge has been able to offer invaluable information to the community.
Today after several expansions and moves, NewBridge maintains service locations in 16 municipalities in Morris and Passaic counties. It employs over more than 175 trained professionals including: adolescent specialists, certified addictions professionals, care managers, clinical nurse specialists, domestic violence professionals, marriage and family therapists, nutritionists, play therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, registered nurses and social workers.
With a broad spectrum of services, it is evident that the agency has consistently responded directly to the needs of those in the community. NewBridge is committed to developing the best behavioral health care possible to improve the quality of life of those served.