Division of Mental Health Advocacy (MHA)
Carl J. Herman - Division Director
Ann Portas - Assistant Division Director
Lorraine Hunter-Hoilien - South Jersey Managing Attorney
Nora Locke - North Jersey Managing Attorney
Cynthia Seda-Schreiber - Central Jersey Managing Attorney
Located within the NJOPD, the Division of Mental Health Advocacy (MHA) provides representation at initial commitment hearings, periodic review hearings, voluntary approval hearings and placement hearings at federal, state, county, general and private psychiatric hospitals for adults and children in the counties of Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Salem and Union, as well as children from Bergen County. More counties will soon be added. MHA also provides legal representation of Division of Developmental Disabilities' clients at guardianship of the person hearings and provides legal representation for individuals committed involuntarily under the "Sexually Violent Predators" law.
MHA is also available on a limited basis to provide legal representation for adults and children hospitalized for treatment of a mental illness, where the representation best advances the interest of similarly situated individuals.
MHA's toll-free number (1-877-285-2844) will direct your call to the appropriate regional office.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health or substance abuse problem, there are many ways to access help.
If there is an emergency, or you believe that you or someone else is in danger, dial 911 immediately.
For questions about mental illness or accessing services or other non-emergency matters, you can contact NJ Mental Health Cares at:
Phone: (866) 202-HELP (4357)
Trained clinicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.