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Resiliency Center Concluding Its Mission, Closing June 30



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A decade after opening to help address the impacts of the worst community tragedy Newtown has ever faced, the Resiliency Center of Newtown (RCN) will conclude its mission of service to the Newtown community effective June 30. Financial support for those most impacted by the events of 12/14 will remain available through The Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

With the full understanding that traumatic events can have long-term and far-reaching effects, the RCN was founded to promote long-term healing through consistent, community-based support.

“While some affected by 12/14 sought help immediately, we knew others would seek support months, even years later. This is especially true for children who are more likely to reprocess traumatic events at different stages of their own personal development,” said Stephanie Cinque, RCN executive director. “We stood to meet that need and are honored and grateful for the many families who have trusted us to be a part of their journey.”

Since opening in September 2013, RCN has provided a decade of free, confidential, trauma-informed assistance and referral services as well as special programs and events to assist in the healing process following 12/14. Its Creative Art Therapies (art, play, music) and brain-based therapies including Brainspotting, Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI), RCN have served both children and adults dealing with the post-incident trauma.

In addition to therapeutic services, the center hosted children during Camp Creativity weeks and at sleepaway camp well-known in town as Camp Sea Stars during the summers. RCN also hosted first responders and their families at sporting events to gather them together and rebuild bonds.

“The camp experiences will always be some of my fondest memories,” said Suzanne Arnone, an LPC and a play therapist and original RCN staff member. “It was so rewarding to watch these kids gain more confidence, relax and just have fun. And more importantly, they were able to do so in an environment where they felt safe and supported.”

Much of the initial RCN programming was geared toward children with a focus on providing them with the means and opportunity to express themselves, seek comfort, and be their own advocate. Whether recognizing personal ‘triggers’ or learning to cope with stressful situations, the goal was to provide tools that would support them into adulthood.

“We were conceived with a singular event mission, and always intended to sunset,” said Cinque. “Today, as many of our youngest clients are preparing to graduate from high school and are pursuing life beyond Newtown, that time has come. It is important to note however, that I will continue my work in some capacity helping communities nationwide devastated by mass violence and continuing to advocate for mental health awareness and services.”

The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, administered by The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, is available to ongoing support by providing financial assistance for mental health treatments to victims’ families, SHS students, SHS employees, and emergency responders who suffered trauma related to the events of 12/14.

Visit NSHCF.org or contact Lucie Connell at LConnell@nshcf.org or 203-461-2233 for more information.

Any community member needing assistance finding a mental health practitioner and wellness resources can contact The Department of Human Services at 203-270-4612 for assistance.

Any questions or concerns related to RCN can be directed to Stephanie Cinque via e-mail at stephanie@resiliencycenterofnewtown.org.

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