Legacy's Outpatient Bridge Program
The Need for Continued Mental Health Services in New Jersey
Waiting lists for mental health services are a common problem that impacts adults, youths and adolescents.
In New Jersey, the average wait time for therapy is six to eight weeks and for some providers, it can be even longer. This means that many people who need help are forced to wait weeks or even months before they can get the care they need. The consequences of long wait times can be serious. Studies have shown that people who are waitlisted for therapy are more likely to experience relapses, to have their symptoms worsen and to require hospitalization. Youths and adolescents are more likely to drop out of school, to engage in risky behaviors, and to have problems with their families and friends.
Individual Therapy | Family Therapy | Group Therapy
Legacy Counseling utilizes a wide range of treatment approaches and frameworks to provide support for various areas of mental health, providing you with comprehensive care.
Trauma & PTSD
Traumatic Brain Injury
Treatment Focus Areas:
Oppositional Defiance (ODD)
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Impulse Control Disorders
Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)
Dialectical Behavior (DBT)
Family / Marital
What is Legacy's Outpatient Bridge Program?
Legacy's Outpatient Bridge Program is a temporary psychotherapy program that provides people with continued mental health services while they are waiting for longer-term treatment. The program is designed to help people maintain their mental health and prevent their symptoms from worsening. The Bridge Program is offered by a team of experienced psychotherapists with distinct specializations to work effectively with adults, youths, and adolescents respectively. Our youth and adolescent therapists are strained to work with the youths that are transitioning out of the CSOC or may not reach criteria for in-home but would benefit from interventions with an Outpatient therapist. Adults will receive focused care and support from practitioners that are experts in a wide-range of mental health areas to help them develop key coping skills and enhance their quality of life. Treatment is offered in both short and long-term modalities, which is determined by the individual’s self-stated needs in conjunction with an assessment conducted by a member of the Legacy Bridge team.
The Bridge Program provides the following:
– Weekly 60 minute individual therapy sessions with a Psychotherapist
– Access between sessions to a Counselor or their Therapist to address issues that may arise before or after a session
– Access to a monthly training session for caregivers to provide mental health and life skills support in areas such as:
– Life Skills with a CPA: Financial Literacy Basics (expenses, budgeting, debt management, future planning)
– Arc Grow Parenting: Emotional Regulation and Parenting skills
– Substance Use/Abuse Education/Support group
– Grief and Loss Support with a Hospice RN
*Please note: More options will be available and will be shared with you after joining the Bridge program.*
Benefits of Legacy's Outpatient Bridge Program
Early intervention: Provides people with the help they need early versus sitting on a waitlist without support.
Prevention: Avert mental health symptoms from worsening and prevents hospitalization or an increase in the level of care.
Support: a team of experienced psychotherapists and other professionals are ready to support the adults, youths, adolescents, and families.
Education: Provides mental health education, fosters coping skills development, and provides resources to improve quality of life. Specialized support is also offered to caregivers to promote an ecosystem that is conducive for mental wellness and healing.
New Jersey Youth Mental Health Statistics
for Youths & Adults
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 6 U.S. youths aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
According to the NAMI website, as of May 2023, there are approximately 2,000 youths who are waitlisted for outpatient providers in New Jersey. The average wait time for outpatient providers in New Jersey per DCF is 6-8 weeks.
Percentage of youths who are waitlisted for outpatient providers: Approximately 13% of youths under the CSOC in New Jersey are waitlisted for outpatient providers.
A study by the NAMI found that young people who are waitlisted for therapy are more likely to experience relapses, to have their symptoms worsen and to require hospitalization.
Youths also more likely to drop out of school, to engage in risky behaviors and to have problems with their families and friends.
Of the 309,000 adults in New Jersey who did not receive needed mental health care, 28.5% did not because of cost.
In February 2021, 42.2% of adults in New Jersey reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. 19.9% were unable to get needed counseling or therapy
39,712 people in New Jersey live in a community that does not have enough mental health professionals.
What does this mean?
These statistics show that there is a significant need for outpatient mental health services for people in New Jersey. The long wait times for these services can have a serious impact on mental health, therefore, the Legacy Bridge Program is our initiative to bridge this important gap in treating mental health issues.
How can Legacy's Outpatient Bridge Program help with these issues?
7 days/week access to a therapist or crisis counselor: Clients can message or phone their therapist or a staff counselor as needed.
Therapy tailored to your needs: Therapists will work with clients to create a treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs.
Convenience: You can access therapy from anywhere, at any time.
Affordability: The monthly subscription price is comparable to the cost of traditional therapy.
Weist, Mitchell D., et al. "The Impact of Waiting for Mental Health Treatment on Youths' Rehospitalization and School Attendance." Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 52, no. 12, Dec. 2013, pp. 1338-1347., doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2013.08.01
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). "Mental Health Conditions." https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). "New Jersey State Fact Sheet." https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/StateFactSheets/NewJerseyStateFactSheet.pdf.
Whitney DGPeterson MD. US National and State-Level Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders and Disparities of Mental Health Care Use in Children. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(4):389–391. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.5399. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2724377?guestAccessKey=f689aa19-31f1-481d-878a-6bf83844536a.
New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF). "Children's System of Care (CSOC)." DCF, 2023, www.nj.gov/dcf/csoc/.
New Jersey Mental Health Association (NJMHA). "Mental Health in New Jersey." NJMHA, 2023, www.njmha.org/mental-health-in-new-jersey/.
New Jersey Office of the Child Advocate (OCA). "Report on the State of Children's Mental Health in New Jersey." OCA, 2018, www.nj.gov/oca/reports/mental-health/report.pdf.