For a Second Year, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Funds Medical-Legal Partnership Between CHLP and the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris
The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey has renewed their $150,000 grant award to CHLP and the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris for a second year to continue funding a medical-legal partnership program in Essex County, NJ. The goal of the project is to address the social determinants of health of vulnerable individuals experiencing severe and persistent mental illness, and to collect data and outcomes to better advocate for expanded funding for medical-legal partnerships with mental health and addiction agencies.
Medical-legal partnerships are being recognized nationwide as an effective and relatively low-cost intervention to improve health outcomes. Research has shown that social determinants of health, such as housing, income, health insurance and family stability play a significant role in an individual's health. Unlike the traditional referral model where the health care provider simply refers a patient-consumer to legal services, medical-legal partnerships embed lawyers and advocates into the health care team. The embedded attorney and advocate can proactively intervene before legal problems reach a crisis point, help health care staff recognize potential health-harming legal issues, navigate system and policy barriers to health, and break the cycle of treating patient-consumers only to have them come right back because their underlying barriers to health are not being addressed.