Metro YMCA of the Oranges Partners with The Bridge to Support Children, Families

By: Mollie Shauger | Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | News

A young girl plays with blocks. Credit: iStock

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is partnering with behavioral healthcare nonprofit, The Bridge to provide support to children and families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Established in 1971, The Bridge offers mental health and substance use treatment services to individuals, couples, and children through a variety of outpatient programs and school-based services. 

The Essex County-based nonprofit is collaborating with the Y to provide community members access to low-cost programs including:

  • A weekly parenting support group: Parenting Through a Pandemic. We are all adjusting to a “new normal”—which has created a lot of anxiety for children and especially parents. Juggling self-care, work and adult responsibilities while also caring for our children can be extremely stressful. With all these changes, there is a need to rethink the way we parent - our approach to screen time, creating structure in the home as well as managing expectations for ourselves and children. Come join this weekly support group with one of our seasoned children and family therapists who can assist in sharing strategies to cope with these challenges and more. This is also an excellent opportunity to engage in some self-care and know that we are all in this together. Group will have six weekly one-hour Zoom sessions, $20 to drop in or $90 package. For more information call the Access Center at The Bridge, Inc. 973-228-3000.
  • Ready, Set, Connect: A virtual social skills group for children entering first, second, and third grades. Utilizing play and creative expression your child will have an opportunity to develop their social skills as they connect with others through creative and innovative activities such as: a costume party, a “mad” blocks game, stuffed animal party and more. Through play your child will develop self-confidence, connect with others and practice expressing their emotions - all while having fun!. Each week the clinical therapist will introduce a new coping tool for your child’s toolbox. Groups are broken into children going into first and second grades; and children going into second and third grades. Group will have six weekly 30-minute Zoom sessions, $60 for the 6-week session. For more information call the Access Center at The Bridge, Inc. 973-228-3000.

The Bridge will also provide access to its Telehealth Mental Health Counseling Services for play therapy, individual, family, couples and group counseling. Anyone wishing to participate can schedule an appointment by calling The Bridge’s Access Center at 973-228-3000. Most insurance types are accepted. For those without insurance coverage, The Bridge offers a sliding-fee scale as well as other financial assistance resources.

This collaboration comes at a critical time when families are searching for new strategies to help them through the challenges of social distancing, and balance work responsibilities with supporting school-age children at home. Health and financial concerns have also put new strains on families during this crisis. These challenges have been driving a deeper focus on physical and mental wellness as individuals adjust to a “new normal.”

“We’re excited to partner with The Bridge as we expand our wellness program offerings and provide support to community members during the pandemic,” said Richard K. Gorab, President and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. “As the Y has been a safe place for families who rely on us for quality child care and youth programs, families now look to us for support as they establish new, healthy routines at home.”

“During this pandemic crisis, life as we know it has changed. We are all adjusting to a new landscape of living - and the need to manage anxiety, depression, parenting challenges, family or marital conflict may feel more challenging than ever,” said Louis Schwarcz, MA, CEO of The Bridge, Inc. “At a time when people are seeking out more resources to help them through this crisis, the Y enables us to expand our services to the broader community and assist more people.”

To learn more about these services and enroll in their programs, call 973-228-3000 or visit


Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.


The Bridge is a nonprofit community-based organization that provides behavioral health care services designed to strengthen and support the family and promote the personal growth of children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Founded in 1971 in Essex County, the agency has a long-term commitment to helping children and families overcome mental health challenges that threaten to derail lives and tear families apart. For more information contact Louis Schwarcz, The Bridge CEO, at or


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