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In 1968, the Mental Health Association was operating an important psychiatric rehabilitation program which focused on providing persons served with daily activities aimed at vocational goals and personal fulfillment. The program became an independent service for people experiencing mental illness in Union County, and Bridgeway was born! Originally called Bridgeway House, the program operated out of one building at 615 N. Broad St. in Elizabeth, which remaions our headquarters 50 years later. As Bridgeway House, we served 100-200 people
By the time the organizational name changed to Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services in 1978, services offered by Bridgeway had expanded to include community and home-based care, supported employment and supportive housing. Over the years, as Bridgeway’s reputation for excellence and evidence-based practices became apparent to the NJ Department of Mental Health (which later merged with Addiction Services to become DMHAS) we became the preferred provider of services in our region to satisfy New Jersey’s Olmstead Agreement - to place and support all appropriate persons who previously were treated in state hospitals for mental illness, and had the potential to thrive living in their communities.
As Bridgeway celebrated 50 years of delivering psychiatric rehabilitation services in central and northern NJ in 2018, the organization also celebrated the thousands of success stories of people who have learned to manage their mental illness and lead happy, fulfilled lives. We celebrated our capacity to serve more than 2,000 individuals each year. We also celebrated an ever-growing portfolio of programs and services customized to treat those who need care in the way of their choosing, each on their own individual journey toward recovery.
In 2021, Bridgeway is happy to announce a new level of integrated mental health care, a new multi-use headquarters in Union, and a new name!
Bridgeway Behavioral Health Services serves more than 4,000 people each year in crisis intervention programs, psychiatric screening, short-term, long-term, and day rehabilitation programs in ten counties in northern New Jersey, from urban Hudson County on the eastern end of the state, to rural Sussex County in north west New Jersey.