As part of a national initiative inspired by the shootings in Sandy Hook and designated by President Obama, the public is invited to participate in a conversation about mental health in the community. NAMI Fairfield will host an evening of conversation on Wednesday, November 13, from 6 to 9 pm, at First Congregational Church, 148 Beach Road.
Adults grieving the death of a loved one are invited to attend a support group at Newtown Youth & Family Services. The group is being offered by the award-winning Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children & Families, a program of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut. Sessions for anyone impacted by grief and loss will bee held on Tuesday evenings, November 12 and December 10, from 6 to 7:30 pm, at Newtown Youth & Family Services.
Hikers of all ages are invited to enjoy panoramic views of Newtown and surrounding areas during Newtown Forest Association’s Autumn Foliage hike on Saturday, November 2, beginning at noon. Join NFA member Aaron Coopersmith on a stroll through the Holcombe Wildlife Preserve on Great Hill Road. Not to be confused with the Holcombe Memorial Trail property with its red barn, those joining the hike on Saturday should continue ¼-mile uphill past this property to the Holcombe Wildlife Preserve.
State insurance officials have released a “toolkit” they hope will make it easier for Connecticut residents to get coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
The nine-page document provides guidance on what questions to ask health care providers and insurers to help ensure that care will be covered, and it includes a checklist of information to gather for those who want to appeal denied claims. Officials developed the guide with experts from the UConn Health Center and insurance companies.
On November 5, Newtown residents are invited to exercise their civic duty while protecting their health and the health of their family and loved ones. For the second consecutive year, the Newtown Health District will be hosting Vote & Vax at the Newtown Middle School. This coordinated public health outreach offers flu vaccinations to residents who want them on Election Day. “The idea is the resident is taking the time to go to their polling place to vote, and while they are there, they can conveniently visit another area at the building at the Newtown Middle School and get a flu shot,” said Health District Director Donna Culbert.
The Fairfield County Transcendental Meditation Program in conjunction with the David Lynch Foundation will offer an introductory presentation on the Transcendental Meditation Technique on Tuesday, October 29, at 6:30 pm. The program will be in the board room of C.H. Booth Library. The Transcendental Meditation technique is a simple, natural program for the mind to experience a more settled state, increasingly quiet and silent levels while it remains alert.
Florida-based nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms will be offering “MOVE: Focus” on Saturday, November 2, from 9 am to 6:30 pm, at Newtown Congregational Church. “MOVE: Focus” is a one-day workshop led by professional counselors where attendees will explore issues that are rarely talked about, including depression, anxiety, and suicide. The discussion will cover what is behind these struggles, what drives them, what recovery looks like, and how students can make a difference. The workshop is open to all students in grades 8–12 in the area. MOVE will be taught by licensed mental health counselor Aaron Moore and registered mental health intern Denny Kolsch. “It’s a free conference that will tackle the issues of depression, anxiety, and suicide,” said NCC Youth Minister Allysa De Wolf, who also said the event is “not a religious event but is open to students from all backgrounds.”
Many parents of teens and adolescents begin struggling with the challenge of teaching their children as much as possible as they begin their acceleration toward adulthood and eventual independence. But popular author Anthony Wolf PhD believes despite the constant urge to find “teachable moments” at every turn during a child’s teen years, that parents should fight the urge and instead become good, quiet listeners. This is just one of the many points Dr Wolf hopes to make to local parents next week when he speaks at the next Newtown Prevention Council Parent Speaker Series on Parenting Teens in a Difficult Time. Dr Wolf, who is a renowned psychologist and bestselling author of Get Out of My Life but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? and I’d Listen to My Parents if They’d Just Shut Up, will appear at the Cyrenius H. Booth Library meeting room on Wednesday, October 23, at 7 pm.
Newtown Prevention Council (NPC) heard a summary last month of the 2013 Youth Survey Report by Archie Swindell of Quantitative Services. The news received during the September 19 was mixed. The survey found that local youth are smoking less… tobacco, that is. Marijuana is another thing. The survey was sponsored by Newtown Prevention Council and the Newtown Public Schools through the Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. It was administered in April. The results had previously been presented to the Board of Education during its August 20 meeting.
Home Instead Senior Care of Trumbull and Sandy Hook, owned by Sharon and Robert Massafra, is part of the network of franchises providing thousands of people worldwide with nonmedical companionship and care. The branch services clients in 33 area towns, and employs roughly 125 people, said Ms Massafra.
Among those 125 employees are three husband and wife teams, Ms Massafra said, two of whom are from Newtown.