1909 Clifford Beers, a mental health consumer advocate, founds the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene, which is later to evolve into the National Mental Health Association.
1948 Mental Health Association in New Jersey is established.
1976 Mental Health Association in New Jersey starts the Passaic County Community Companion Program located at 53 Madison Avenue in Clifton. This program, directed by Carolyn DeBeer, is dedicated to helping individuals returning to the community from the state mental health hospitals. It trains volunteers to work on a one-to-one basis with individuals with mental illness.
1979 Mental Health Association in New Jersey begins to plan a chapter in Passaic County. The Community Companion Program has already helped 75 Passaic County residents.
1980 The Mental Health Association in Passaic County (MHAPC) is formed but not yet incorporated. Malwina Rottenberg is Executive Director, and Penelope Carey is Association Assistant Director.
1982 The Family Advocacy Group is formed. This will later evolve into NAMI-NJ’s Families in Quest, which continues to meet monthly.

The New Grounds Social Club, a self-help group for consumers, opens. The club meets twice a week and is organized by Richard Landry with the assistance of a few other volunteers. This club will later evolve into Social Connections Drop-in Center in conjunction with Collaborative Support Programs of NJ (CSPNJ).

MHAPC moves to Van der Hoef House, a 1720 Dutch farm house in Weaselbrook Park, Clifton.

1985 At its Annual Meeting the membership of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, led by Gerald Botwinick, Executive Director, votes full chapter status to the Mental Health Association in Passaic County. The original MHAPC board members are Anton Oswald (President), Kathleen Attison, Angelo Bisceglie, Robert Cohen, Sarah Finney, Louise Friedman, Wanda Kondrat, Harry Marmorstein, Jean McCurdie, Daniel Ogden, Sylvia Schaja (currently serving in 2005), Mary Halasa, and Richard Landry. Penny Carey is the Executive Director.

Program services at this time include: Community Companions and Family Companions; self-help and advocacy groups for former patients and for families of the mentally ill; a self-esteem program for grade school children; the Mental Health Players; services to the mentally ill homeless; and information/referral services. Many of the programs are provided by volunteers from the community, and all are free of charge. More than 100 citizens in Passaic County volunteer each year.

1987 The Crossover Program is created to provide help to young adults (ages 17-21) with mental illness.
1994 Penny Carey moves to New England and Joanne Green becomes the Executive Director.
1997 Creation of the Peer Outreach Support Team (POST), which employs consumers with mental illness to provide support to individuals living in supportive housing.
1998 Picnic for Parity Rallyis held in Weaselbrook Park to demonstrate support for the passage of mental health parity legislation in New Jersey. This legislation, which was passed in 1999, eliminated some of the unequal, discriminatory private health insurance policies regarding mental health treatment.
1999 Crossover Program expands through United Way funding.

Community Companion program becomes Community Advocate Program with the focus shifting from volunteers to paid Consumer Providers.

2000 The National Mental Health Association provides initial seed funding for the creation of the Invisible Children’s Task Force.
2001 Partnership with Barnert Hospital is created to expand the use of Consumer Providers in the PATH program for homeless mentally ill.
2003 The Consumer Parent Support Network receives the honor of Best Practice Program for the Prevention of Neglect and Abuse for the NJ Northern Region.
2005 Creation of the Family Advocate Program, which employs advocates to provide support and information to individuals who are accompanying a family member to the Psychiatric Emergency Screening Center at St. Mary’s Hospital, Passaic. What is unique about this program is that the advocates also have family members who have mental illnesses.

Establishment of the Arab-American Community Services Partnership. This is a coalition of mental health/social service providers and leaders in the local Arab-American community. Our goal is to forge cooperative efforts to address mental health service needs and increase cultural understanding.