NJMHI Leadership Academy for Behavioral Healthcare Professionals

The New Jersey Mental Health Institute (NJMHI) launched the Leadership Academy for Behavioral Healthcare Professionals in October 2022 to present opportunities for aspiring leaders in the mental healthcare, substance use disorder (SUD) and intellectual/ developmental disabilities (I/DD) services fields to build the management skills that organizations and these fields need, as well as the foundation for them to advance in their careers and succeed in future leadership positions. 

Participation in this cost-effective, year-long program will also help improve staff retention, which will reinforce behavioral healthcare organizations' long-term viability, and improve the quality and consistency of services. These benefits are especially critical as the field has been experiencing a workforce crisis and the demand for services continues to increase. This program helps address the crisis by encouraging staff to continue working in the behavioral healthcare system — in positions that will enable them to further expand and strengthen agencies and the entire workforce while continuing their advancement in these fields.

The Leadership Academy is open to mentees and mentors who are working (and, in the case of some mentors, have worked) in any aspects of the behavioral healthcare field, including clinical, administrative, legal, finance, human resources and information technology. It is also open to coaches in other industries whose different expertise and experience add to the value of this program.

“This program has been a joy for me to meet with two amazing women who are an inspiration. My mentor and coach have been very supportive and provide me with guidance and lots of encouragement to be a better leader. The guidance and inspiration I receive is not just for my work life, but also for my personal life. I am so glad that I decided to participate because of the feedback and guidance and recommendations I receive from my two supports.” - Marinell Brzostowski, BA, Leadership Academy Mentee 2022-23, ICMS Manager, Easterseals New Jersey

“Behavioral health care will never be the same. There are greater demands, higher expectations, and fewer staff. Mentors and coaches provide unique insight into this new normal, allowing mentees to manage their own expectations. Through this academy, mentees also embark on a journey of self-discovery. They uncover beliefs, values and experiences that shape them as leaders. Discovering their best selves as leaders builds the capacity to support and value each individual, lending to much-needed retention.” - Valerie Ortense, BS, MBA, Leadership Academy Mentor, Director of Grants and Development, Preferred Behavioral Health Group


 “Being a leader or manager requires a lot of a person. We need to make sure that people have the right tools, support and mindset to take on the responsibility successfully. And that’s what this program is designed to do.” -  Anne E. Collier, MPP, JD, PCC, Leadership Academy Coach, Chief Executive Officer, Arudia


The third cohort will begin in September 2024. Please stay tuned for details about application due dates.

Mentee Fact Sheet          Mentee Application

Mentor Fact Sheet          Mentor Application

Coach Fact Sheet           Coach Application

For additional information, please write to Shauna Moses at smoses@njamhaa.org.