Inroads to Opportunities director of Mental Health serves on behavioral healthcare panel

Leticia Esquivel-Potash

ROSELLE, NJ — Leticia Esquivel-Potash, director of Mental Health, Inroads to Opportunities, was recently a panelist at the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies. The panel discussed updating services for individuals with co-occurring mental illnesses and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Inroads, a Union County-based non-profit human services agency, provides programs and services to more than 400 individuals each year with all types of disabilities. The individuals range in age from 16 through retirement, many of whom are economically disadvantaged. Programs and services include vocational preparation, transition from school to work, certificate training programs, day habilitation and mental health services. Inroads is the largest skills training program for individuals with disabilities in New Jersey,

Between 37% and 45% of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities also have mental health conditions. In addition, approximately 5% of individuals with I/DD have co-occurring substance use disorders and many with I/DD are at risk of developing SUD, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Esquivel-Potash addressed the need for more resources and support systems for those with co-occurring mental illnesses and intellectual/developmental disabilities. She expressed the need for refinement, suggesting more specialized and individualized programs catering specifically to the unique needs of each individual.

Esquivel-Potash is a former resident of Elizabeth and currently resides in Cranford.

NJAMHAA emphasized the importance of continuing this discussion to create broader awareness for a population that is usually focused on their developmental disabilities, not their mental health issues. Equivel-Potash said she believes this population is gaining awareness and traction and must be looked at as both a need in the community and statewide.

NJAMHAA provides the highest quality behavioral healthcare services for the residents of New Jersey through advocacy and professional development.

Esquivel-Potash is a dedicated professional serving as the director of Mental Health at Inroads to Opportunities. Esquivel-Potash earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Driven by a desire to deepen her expertise, Esquivel-Potash pursued advanced studies at Kean University, where she earned her master’s degree in applied psychology. Esquivel-Potash is also a certified social worker. Her certification underscores her commitment to maintaining the highest professional standards of mental health support.

Photo Courtesy of Amy Delman