Healthy Minds. Healing Hearts. Peaceful Communities.





Message from Lou Schwarcz, CEO of The Bridge

In my role as Chief Executive Officer of The Bridge I look out over the landscape of our service delivery system, and I stand proud. 

I see our Family Preservation Services team, in our Irvington office,providing services in the home for families that are torn by the stress of daily living. I see families becoming strong, united and healthy as a result of our services. We go into the homes of people throughout Essex and Union counties, in all walks of life, and we provide hands on counseling assistance that helps parents to manage their children’s behavioral issues.We assist families in applying techniques of conflict resolution that helps them in their journey to make better decisions. We also assist young people in these families to build resiliency and skills that will carry them into a successful adult life.

I also see the children of our Imani Center, located on the grounds of Irvington High School, and the Making Achievement Possible (MAP) program at the Irvington Middle School, who benefit from our many services. These services include employment training, academic support, advocacy, help in accessing resources, and help with referrals to other services. We also include a support component that caters to youth who are new to this country and are learning English as a second language. We utilize licensed counselors to offer life skills sessions, substance abuse prevention, and individual, family, and group counseling, to address the contemporary problems that children face. Finally, we offer opportunities for our participants to experience life outside of their community. Recently, the children experienced the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Smithsonian African American History museum in Washington D.C., and also the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ. I see hope being provided to children where hope was previously absent. This hope is the tool that carries them forward as they become healthy and mature young adults.

I look over at our substance abuse and mental health services that give individuals and families the skills they need to cope with the presence of ever-increasing stress in our society. We help young peopleand adults in crisis to cope in this difficult time in which we all live. We educate people to understand the dangers of substance use, and to help them achieve sobriety. We also assist young people to develop coping abilities to manage the stress of school life, as well as giving families the tools they need to stay unified as they face their world together.

Finally, I look over at the service we give to elementary children in the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District, providing a safe space in each school through our Peace Model Project. We offer licensed professional counselors that are availableat all hours of the school day. They assist young children with anxiety, depression, bullying, self-harm, academic stress, and family challenges. When children are supported, when they are still young, it promotes health and healing for them as they mature. This lowers the risk for substance abuse and other mental health problems in adolescence and beyond. We also offer middle school students in the district with counseling support and assistance to better their lives and to give them a head start as they mature and grow.

In all of this, I see an agency increasing its stand in support of young people, individuals and families that need a hand up to face the challenges of this difficult world.

We are an agency that stands in the storm, offering people a calming presence to endure the many rains and winds that face them.

Please join me in supporting The Bridge in the work do for young people, adults and families in our area.


“The Bridge is a haven for families and individuals in Essex and Union counties that are struggling with substance abuse, mental health challenges and that are impacted by all the stress of coping in modern society.  We challenge young people to build skills and resiliency necessary for independence, we challenge all people to achieve sobriety, and we challenge families to work with our counselors to be unified and strong.   Please be part of our community effort to build healthy minds, healing hearts and peaceful communities.” – Louis Schwarcz, CEO