A Home Run of Extraordinary Support   

A Home Run of Extraordinary Support

The need for adolescent behavioral health services is more critical today than ever before. Thanks to an extraordinary $10 million grant from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, led by Mets co-owner and philanthropist Alex Cohen, Hackensack Meridian Health is poised to further address the adolescent behavioral health crisis by ensuring the community’s most at-risk youth will receive the comprehensive care they desperately need. 

The transformational gift will help support Hackensack Meridian Health’s Adolescent Behavioral Health Expansion Project at Carrier Clinic, our flagship behavioral health hospital. The $29 million multi-year investment is aimed at increasing critical capacity through facility enhancements, expansion of innovative programs and services and prioritizing important additions in terms of providers and professionals specialized in behavioral health. 

“Every child should have access to safe, approachable care for their mental and physical wellbeing,” said Alex Cohen, president of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Hackensack Meridian Health as they enhance adolescent behavioral health services and help create a brighter, healthier future for our youth.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), one in six children between the ages of six to 17 experience a mental health disorder each year, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between ages 10 to 14. Children and teenagers are experiencing increased rates of depression, anxiety and suicide attempts. Exacerbated by more than two years of isolation by COVID-19, the self-reported mental health of the nation is at its lowest point in 20 years. The alarming statistics prove that the pediatric behavioral health system is overburdened and does not have the appropriate resources available to meet the needs of children and adolescents. 

With countless young lives impacted amidst increasing challenges compounded by unprecedented circumstances worldwide, visionary philanthropy becomes paramount. The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation’s support, coupled with Hackensack Meridian Health’s capacity to engage in an initiative of this scale, has the power to make a significant impact on the mental health needs of future generations.

The Adolescent Behavioral Health expansion at Carrier Clinic will improve access to patients, as young as seven, requiring inpatient treatment who are waiting in emergency departments, crisis centers, partner hospitals and county screening centers across the state and further reduce patient turnaway. The new state-of-the-art design will feature clinical features developed specifically for the safety of patients and clinicians and includes a family resource and training center. The unit will incorporate the latest technology, such as the use of multi-sensory rooms and interactive equipment, and develop an infrastructure that will ensure Hackensack Meridian Health can continually incorporate the ever-changing advances in this space.

With a commitment to holistic healthcare, Hackensack Meridian Health also aims to provide comprehensive support for enhanced adolescent programs and services at Carrier Clinic, including integrative therapies, such as equine, art, music and horticultural.

We thank our friends at the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation for their incredible support and generosity. To learn more about the Adolescent Behavioral Health Expansion Project, please contact Michael Loch, director of Development, Behavioral Health, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation, at michael.loch@hmhn.org. To make a gift in support of Carrier Clinic, visit GiveHMH.org/CarrierClinic and direct it to Adolescent Behavioral Health.


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