JFS Partners with Two Somers Point Schools to Offer Counseling and Therapy Sessions with Students

Posted on May 16, 2022

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) and the Somers Point School District developed a partnership program to tackle the increase in cases of mental health issues, specifically with children and pre-teenagers. With a heighten awareness of anxiety, depression, peer pressure, grief and more amongst elementary and middle school children, the district now offers on-site individual and family therapy sessions at the Dawes Avenue and Jordan Road schools.

“Even more so since the onset of the pandemic, mental health issues have come to the forefront, especially in children who lacked social interaction due to the upheaval of their daily routine. At JFS, we’ve provided in-person and tele-health therapy and counseling sessions to 224 children so far in 2022, and our agency has more than 300 additional requests for counseling sessions for all ages,” said Naomi Jones, Ph.D., JFS Senior Director of Outpatient Services. “Being able to partner with the Dawes Avenue and Jordan Road schools will allow JFS to provide on-site counseling sessions to those in need.”

JFS Therapists Jessica Imperatore and Victoria Sinagria are available from 10am to 6pm, Monday through Friday, at the elementary and middle schools. All sessions are confidential, even from school staff unless the family provides consent for communication between JFS and the school about their services. JFS will track the number of individuals served and number of individual, family, and group sessions as well as the discharge type. In addition, the JFS Resource Center, located in the Jordan Road school, will be open from 10am to 2pm Monday through Friday for group sessions.

In addition to individual and family therapy sessions, the program will offer educational and support groups as well as resources on destressing and coping skills. Financial support for the program has been graciously provided by the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

“As a District, we are pleased to partner with Jewish Family Service to provide additional mental health support for our students and their families as we begin to exit the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Michelle CarneyRay-Yoder. “Our students will have a variety of support groups available during the day along with individual counseling opportunities. In addition, counseling groups will also be available to students and their families. We are looking forward to a collaborative relationship with JFS to strengthen our school community.”

For more information about JFS programs and services, including Outpatient Counseling Services, contact 609.822.1108 or visit jfsatlantic.org.

Photograph Attached

(Left to right): Jordan Road School Assistant Principal Melanie Wagner, Jordan Road School Principal Carleena Supp, Jewish Family Service Senior Director of Outpatient Services Dr. Naomi Jones, Somers Point School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle CarneyRay-Yoder, JFS Therapist Jessica Imperatore, and Jordan Road School Psychologist Carly Stranges cut the ribbon on the new JFS Resource Center at the middle school. JFS Therapists offer student counseling and family therapy sessions at the Dawes Avenue and Jordan Road schools located in Somers Point. (Photo provided by Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties)