School-Based Mental Health & Wellbeing

Creating a House that Smiles

Welcome to the School-Based Mental Health & Wellbeing site

for the Ridgewood Public Schools.

Resources for students and families can be found here, as well as information about our School-Based Mental Health Services at all levels.

Our Philosophy

Our School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) model started with a general focus on simply “being with” young people in their natural habitat. Great emphasis was placed on hanging out with kids, showing interest in their lives, their feelings, their histories, and their personalities. Young people are perpetually in a state of expression. Their words, actions, likes/dislikes, reactions, responses, dreams, etc. are all a reflection of who they are, are in the process of becoming, and wish to become. By nature, kids want and need the stewardship of adults, and also by the same nature are confronted by the responsibilities, boundaries, and limits that adults provide. Nevertheless, they need the combination of these two forces to thrive. This understanding and thinking style has proven to be the most effective way to organically cultivate a school culture and climate that genuinely reflects compassion and support while fostering the four habits of lifelong learning: Resilience, Empathy, Critical Thinking, and Creativity.

Our goals are to:

  • Strengthen our capacity to provide prevention, intervention, and postvention (at all three tiers of service) in the form of meaningful student involvement and interaction - responding more positively to student need with an emphasis on working with students as opposed to working for them.

  • Create and promote a positive school culture and climate based on cultivating and sustaining healthy, secure, and attuned adult-student relationships that contribute to and nurture our student-centered school “family.”

  • Provide resources, suggestions, and information that will help our community maximize resilience and emotional well-being at this important time and beyond.

School-Based Mental Health Services

Support Organizations & Resources

Emergency/Crisis Hotlines

If you or a family member are experiencing the signs or symptoms of a mental illness or feel you are in crisis, please call 911 for immediate assistance or call 201-262-HELP (4357). Crisis counselors are available 24/7 to guide you through the next steps of getting help.

New Jersey's System of Care (Contracted System Administrator - PerformCare): 877-652-7624 or

Bergen County Psychiatric Emergency Screening Program (24/7): 201-262-HELP

National Hopeline Network - Suicide Prevention: 1-800-SUICIDE

Runaway Hotline: 1-800 RUNAWAY

Youth Crisis Hotline: 800-448-4663

United Way Hotline: 2-1-1

Bergen County Dept of Health Services: 201-634-2600

Mental Health and Support Organizations

Call 211 - United Way Community Response Hotline - when you don't need 911

Bergen Family Center, 201-342-9200

Bergen New Bridge Medical Center: 201-967-4000

Bergen's Promise, 877-652-7624

Care Plus, NJ: 201-265-8200

Children's Aid & Family Services: 201-445-7015

Fair Lawn Mental Health Center: 201-767-2660

Food Pantries by County

Hackensack University Medical Center (Debra Simon Center for Integrative Behavioral Health & Wellness), 555-996-4450

High Focus Centers, 800-877-3628

New Jersey Community Resources

West Bergen Center for Children and Youth: 201-444-3550