Jewish Family Service partners with Two Somers Point Schools to provide counseling and therapy sessions for students

Pictured L-R: Melanie Wagner, Vice Principal of Jordan Road School, Carleena Supp, Principal of Jordan Road School, Senior Director of Ambulatory Services at the Jewish Family Service, Dr. Naomi Jones, School District Superintendent of Somers Point, Dr. Michelle CarneyRay-Yoder, JFS Therapist Jessica Imperatore, and Jordan Road School Psychologist Carly Stranges cut the ribbon for the new JFS Resource Center at the college. JFS therapists offer counseling and family therapy sessions to students at Dawes Avenue and Jordan Road Schools located in Somers Point. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic and Cape May Counties Jewish Family Service)

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The Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) and Somers Point School District have developed a partnership program to address the rising incidence of mental health issues, particularly among children and preteens.

With an increased awareness of anxiety, depression, peer pressure, grief and more in elementary and middle school children, the district now offers on-site individual and family therapy sessions in the Dawes Avenue and Jordan Road schools.

“Even more so since the start of the pandemic, mental health issues have come to the fore, especially among children who lacked social interaction due to the disruption of their daily routine. At JFS, we have provided in-person and telehealth therapy and counseling sessions to 224 children so far in 2022, and our agency has over 300 additional requests for counseling sessions for all ages,” said Naomi Jones, Ph.D., JFS Senior Director of Ambulatory Services. “Being able to partner with schools on Dawes Avenue and Jordan Road will allow JFS to offer onsite counseling sessions to those in need.”

JFS therapists Jessica Imperatore and Victoria Sinagria are available 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, in elementary and middle schools.

All sessions are confidential, even those of school staff, unless the family allows communication between JFS and the school about their services.

JFS will track the number of people served and the number of individual, family and group sessions as well as the type of outing.

Additionally, the JFS Resource Center, located in Jordan Road School, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday for group sessions.

In addition to individual and family therapy sessions, the program will offer educational and support groups as well as resources on relaxation and coping skills.

Financial support for the program was graciously provided by the U.S. Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund.

“As a district, we are thrilled to partner with Jewish Family Service to provide additional mental health support to our students and their families as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Michelle Carney-Ray-Yoder. “Our students will have a variety of support groups available during the day as well as individual counseling opportunities. In addition, focus groups will also be offered to students and their families. We look forward to a collaborative relationship with JFS to strengthen our school community.

For more information about JFS programs and services, including outpatient counseling services, contact 609.822.1108 or visit

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties (JFS) fosters strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energetic seniors, and vibrant communities.

With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, professional services, adult and elder services, and also hosts a food pantry on square. The agency impacts 13,000 lives in Atlantic and Cape May counties each year.

JFS’s mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and improve their quality of life. In keeping with Jewish values ​​and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism, regardless of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity , their age or their origin.

For more information or to keep up to date with events and programs, visit JFS at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About Dawes Avenue and Jordan Road Schools

Dawes Avenue Elementary and Jordan Road Middle Schools are located in the Somers Point School District.

For more information about the school district, visit

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