Youth Mental Health First Aid is a six-hour certification course that introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds an understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance abuse challenge. Northwestern Connecticut AHEC (Area Health Education Center) will offer the course at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street, on Wednesday and Friday, September 24 and 26, from 11 am to 2 pm each day.
Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) will hold its 30th anniversary celebration and awards breakfast on Tuesday, September 23, at Rock Ridge Country Club. NYFS will welcome Dr John Murphy, CEO of Danbury Hospital and The Western Connecticut Health Network, as this year’s guest speaker. In addition, the 2014 Gail Smith Award will be presented to Newtown Police Officers Jason Flynn and Leonard Penna, Nike Corporation will be presented with The H.D. Bassett Award, Patrick Brady will be presented with the Spirit of Community Award, and Newtown High School Senior Alondra Marmolejos will be honored at 2014 Outstanding Youth.
Dr Roseann Capanna-Hodge, who has a practice with offices in Newtown and Ridgefield, is hosting a talk the morning of September 23 at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street. The free lecture is entitled “Rewiring the Brain: What is Neurofeedback?"
Team AHH … Always Have Hope! will present its third annual Yoga For A Cure fundraising event Friday, September 19, at The Graceful Planet. Team AHH is one team participating in this month’s Light The Night event at Fairfield One of the teams doing fundraising for the annual Newtown Light The Night Walk later this month will host its third annual Yoga For A Cure event on September 19 at The Graceful Planet.
September is Hunger Action Month, a monthlong campaign launched by the Connecticut Food Bank, and supported by the Citizens Bank Foundation. Intended to raise awareness of the extent of hunger in the nation — 49 million Americans, including nearly half a million in Connecticut, according to information from the Connecticut Food Bank — this effort can be supported on the local level, as well. Newtown is not a stranger to hunger. Many houses of worship collect donations of food and toiletry items to help those in need. Every week, residents utilize FAITH Food Pantry, located in the lower level of St John’s Episcopal Church on Washington Avenue, and the town Social Services/Salvation Army Food Pantry, located in Town Hall South on Main Street. Staples from these food pantries often mean the difference between feeding the family or having to skip meals. It is a reality that can be overlooked in a community with a per capita income that ranks 42 out of 179 towns in the state.
On Thursday, September 18, Kim Venterea, RPh, MBA, CGP, consultant pharmacist for Masonicare at Newtown, will present a Lunch & Learn program titled “The Risks of Taking Too Many Medications.” The free program will begin at 11:30 am and will be followed by a complimentary lunch. Masonicare provides Lunch & Learn programs for adults and caregivers as a public service to the community.
The Resiliency Center of Newtown (RCN) announces “Essentials First,” a workshop on essential oils and their effects on emotional and physical health, to take place Thursday, September 4. Kristen Van Wey will present the program, which will share the therapeutic values of essential oils and supplements. Attendees will learn how to cleanse, support, and heal from the inside out. The program will have a focus on supporting emotional health and PTSD through the use of essential oils.
September 20 marks Newtown’s 21st Annual Health and Public Safety Fair and the fair’s planners — Mae Schmidle, Della Schmid, Natalie Dos Santos, Donna Culbert and Judy Blanchard — are inviting the entire community to visit and take advantage of free health screenings, information, health enhancing advice and tons of giveaways. Residents can visit the fair, being held again this year at the Newtown Middle School on Queen Street from 9 am to 1 pm. A new contest this year will give Holly the calf a middle name. Every year, Newtown’s Paproski Family of Castle Hill Farm provide a cow or calf to the Health Fair to promote Newtown’s agricultural heritage, and as a unique special guest for children and animal lovers to visit. “Holly is a new member of the Paproski Family with a special story, Ms Culbert said.
About 150 participants or “yogis” attended the Second Annual Newtown Yoga Festival on Saturday, August 23, at Newtown Youth Academy Sports & Fitness Center at Fairfield Hills. The participants sampled various versions of yoga. Area teachers who participated included Barbara Templeton, Kristi Gunnershaug, Anne Pelisson, Chris Smith, Aline Marie, Lydia Smith, Karen Pierce, Kat Barton, Joanne Keane, and Brian Pontolilo. Internationally known teachers Ray Crist, Jennifer Reis, and Tiffany Maloney also provided instruction. Suzy DeYoung and Jennifer Smith Bassett were the co-chairs of the event.
As teachers headed back to school in Newtown this year they are better equipped to respond to specific students in need after participating in the first phase of Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training sponsored by The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc.