A $2 million Mental Health & Substance Abuse Service (MHSAS) Grant was awarded to Eatontown-based CPC Behavioral Heathcare Monday, Congressman Chris Smith announced.

The funding follows a $200,000 MHSAS grant awarded to CFC Loud N Clear Foundation in Howell in March.

“This grant funding comes at a crucial time for people who are recovering from addictions or facing mental illness in the Ocean and Monmouth County areas,” said Smith. “The isolation that can come with social distancing, quarantining and the closing of many mental health service offices caused by the COVID-19 outbreak can further jeopardize their recovery. There is grave concern that substance abuse can increase during a pandemic and these funds will enable local mental health organizations to reach out in alternate ways and help people.”

“CPC Behavioral Healthcare is grateful to be recognized by SAMSHA for our work in delivering integrated substance use and mental health services to the individuals we serve,” said Vera Sansone, President and CEO of CPC Behavioral Healthcare, which will use the grant to pay for its expanded services through April 2022. “This new grant funding will allow us to continue our expansion of CCBHC services in Western Monmouth County and Northern Ocean County. We thank Congressman Smith for his tireless and ongoing support of these vital behavioral health services in our communities.”

Both grants were awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). With these two grants, non-profit organizations in Smith’s Congressional District have been awarded $4.9 million in the past 18 months to help combat substance abuse and opioid addiction.

Dan Regan, himself a recovering addict, is founder and program director of CFC Loud N Clear Foundation. Its grant will allow CFC to expand with two more pilot sites located in Monmouth and Ocean counties. One site will be in the Long Branch/Middletown area and the other in the Brick/Toms River area. The grant will help operate the sites through April 2023. Regan said COVID-19 and social isolation can combine for a potentially overwhelming negative impact on people with addiction, and the federal funding will help people get through tough times.

 “We have two major epidemics going on at the same time,” Regan said. “As places close and social isolation begins, addiction also begins to thrive. Isolation is one of the major causes of relapse, while also being one of the prerequisites of addiction starting. Not only will we see more people come out of isolation in relapse we will also be seeing more people addicted that were not before. This COVID-19 epidemic is causing panic, fear, anxiety, trauma and demanding isolation. This is a recipe for a mental health and addiction explosion.”