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Summit Oaks Hospital Responds to the Mental Health Crisis


and Increased Need for Behavioral Health Treatment Services


Summit, NJ – June 22, 2020 – The coronavirus pandemic has left many members of our communities facing a severe and concerning mental health crisis. Recent data Med news reports have indicated an urgent and crucial need for mental health services to care for those who have been affected by the implications of COVID-19, and for those who have experienced worsening symptoms.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2020), the Household Pulse Survey conducted in conjunction with census reporting identified almost 40% of adults in New Jersey are experiencing anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. These alarming rates, which have significantly increased since the 2019 survey, provide mental health professionals with further insight into the mental health crisis our community is facing, and the increased need for treatment services.


Chief Medical Officer and award-winning psychiatrist at Summit Oaks Hospital, Dr. Mariam Bekhit, stated, “Our communities have sustained a considerable amount of discord and negative impacts from multiple areas, though where you can see damage and pain, there is also strength and resilience. COVID-19 has been an unprecedented occurrence with significant emotional and financial implications.  We lost whole families at a time, employment, health; some of us may have even lost our strength to fight.  From the debris of these struggles, comes the strengthening of communities that are pulling together in solidarity to assist one another in need.  Life matters, and without the availabilities of living our lives without closed borders and practicing our normal daily routines of going to work and school, our emotional well-being has suffered a profound influence.  The team at Summit Oaks Hospital supports and values one another.  Because of the strength in this connection and ongoing teamwork, we are stronger together so we can be here for our patients.”


The dedicated and compassionate team at Summit Oaks Hospital values and encourages individuality.  We pride ourselves in our unwavering support and encouragement of all our patients to become their best selves, while supporting each and every individual’s differences.  Our team at Summit Oaks is exceptionally proud to be diverse, practicing recognition, and celebrating our multi-cultural differences.  In our celebration of equality and cultural awareness, we challenge the stigma of mental health treatment. Together, we are one team with the same goals and mission: to improve the quality of life of those affected by mental illness and/or substance use.


Ross Friedman, CEO of Summit Oaks Hospital shares, “Our commitment is to deliver the highest quality treatment in a secure, therapeutic environment, with compassion and respect for all patients and loved ones. We collaborate with our patients every day to earn their trust and provide exceptional care. Our multidisciplinary teams use best practices to provide superior care that has become the heart and core of our mission.”


During the coronavirus outbreak, Summit Oaks Hospital quickly responded with the creation of a taskforce that devoted their time and effort to maintaining health and safety for staff and clients. In doing so, we have maintained limited exposure and the spread of the virus. Following CDC and state guidelines, Summit Oaks Hospital continued the delivery of  health and addiction treatment services throughout the pandemic.  We recognize that our community relies on the services and programs we provide, therefore additional safety measures were promptly implemented to address health concerns and further exposure.  Summit Oaks Hospital continues to practice all health and safety measures, as identified by the CDC, in all areas of our facility.


About Summit Oaks Hospital

Summit Oaks Hospital is one of the longest operating behavioral health hospitals in New Jersey. For nearly 100 years, we have been providing mental health and addiction treatment to those in and outside of our community.  We pride ourselves in being a place of compassion and comfort, where various forms of therapies are designed to address individual needs.


Our 122-bed inpatient facility offers mental health and addiction treatment services for adults, adolescents, and children.  Our short-term stays provide collaborative treatment strategies with teams that are comprised of physicians, nurses, licensed therapists, and supportive staff.  Various group therapies, led by our licensed therapists, are offered multiple times per day.  These groups include, but are not limited to, psychoeducation, therapeutic processing, development of coping skills and strategies, yoga, art, and other recreational activities.


In 2020, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) recognized Summit Oaks Hospital as a Blue Distinction® Center for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery (BDC Substance Use Treatment and Recovery) – a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program that identifies facilities’ commitment to delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes. The distinction is based on objective measures that were developed with input from the community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.


Summit Oaks Hospital is licensed by the state of New Jersey, and is fully accredited by The Joint Commission. For more information on the services and treatment programs available , please visit  www.summitoakshospital.com.



Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention