NJMHI Opens Applications for Leadership Academy for Behavioral Healthcare Professionals

April 25, 2024

The New Jersey Mental Health Institute (NJMHI) has experienced significant growith in its Leadership Academy for Behavioral Healthcare Professionals and is seeking applications from mentees, mentors and coaches for the third cohort that will begin in September 2024. The current cohort is nearly triple the size and consists of individuals from a significantly broader array of positions, compared to the first group. NJMHI is eager to help many more members of the behavioral healthcare system to explore and achieve their career goals and have an ever-expanding impact on the quality of individuals' lives.

The Academy presents opportunities for emerging leaders not only in clinical roles, but also in all positions — administrative, information technology, legal, finance, human resources, etc. — in mental health, substance use disorder, intellectual/disabilities and other social services organizations.

“While building their skills for future leadership roles, mentees will also contribute to their organizations’ long-term sustainability and improve the quality and consistency of care to the individuals served,” said Debra L. Wentz, PhD, Executive Director of NJMHI and President and CEO of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA), which established NJMHI in 2000.

“The workforce crisis impacts not only service delivery, but also relationships, staff morale and the ability to recruit new staff. It stifles culture,” said Kendria McWilliams, MBA, a Leadership Academy Mentor, Chair of the NJMHI Board of Trustees, and CEO of Maryville Addiction Treatment Center.

“I have greatly benefited from the Leadership Academy! As a new leader, there is so much to learn. Having the knowledge and support from my coach and mentor has helped me be successful in my new leadership role. Working with my mentor to brainstorm and develop strategies for my team and me to improve how we care for patients and each other has been so beneficial. My coach has given me insightful suggestions for navigating challenges and opportunities," said Adiba Saleem, LCSW Leadership Academy Mentee 2021-2022, Manager, Acute Partial Hospitalization, AtlantiCare. "I am especially grateful to network with other Leadership Academy participants as we learn from and support each other. It’s so beneficial to collaborate with others who have similar roles, responsibilities, and experiences. I definitely recommend the Leadership Academy.”

This year-long program is cost-effective, as programs with comparable, high-caliber coaches and mentors cost $10,000 to $30,000. The fee for mentees from NJAMHAA member agencies is only $950, and the cost for individuals at nonmember organizations is $3,000. 

Applications and payments (to be made by the mentees' employers) are due July 31, 2024.

Click here for additional details and to download fact sheets and applications for mentees, mentors and coaches.