The New Fairfield Prevention Council (“Prevention Council”) has joined a nationwide movement to recognize May as Mental Health Month. The theme: “Look around, look within” is intended to draw attention to the mental health of others and provides strategies for each individual’s mental health. Town Hall will be lit up green to acknowledge the efforts.
The Prevention Council posts mental health tips and strategies on Facebook page frequently but is doing so even more throughout the month of May. A proclamation recently created for the initiative by First Selectman Pat Del Monaco points out positive mental health fundamentals, such as, where people live “plays a significant role in their overall health and well-being, surroundings can impact how and when a person’s needs are met, which in turn affects mental health in return.” It was acknowledged that having a safe, stable, and healthy home sets the foundation for good mental health. Del Monaco agrees with Prevention Council literature that indicates, with early and objective interventions, those individuals with mental health conditions can recover and lead full productive lives.
The Board of Selectmen thanked the Prevention Council for everything they do and also called upon the citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses, and schools in New Fairfield “to recommit to our community to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health. The steps our citizens can take to protect their mental health and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions.” Del Monaco said, “each business, school, government agency, health care provider, organization and citizen share the burden of mental health problems and has a responsibility to promote mental health, mental wellness, and support prevention efforts.
The mission of the New Fairfield Prevention Council is to promote “positive, safe, and healthy lifestyles. We foster dialogue, raise awareness, and educate the community on substance use and mental health. We engage with youth, families, and community through creative, innovative programs to build safe and healthy neighborhoods.” They encourage anyone struggling with mental health issues to text Share to 741741 for free, around-the-clock counseling. Also available is the Action Line at (800) HOPE435 or 211.
By Sarah Opdahl