Mental Health Awareness
For 2023 Mental Health Awareness Month, Stonington joins towns and cities around the country to amplify the message of “You Are More Than Enough.” It is critical that we all work to help in combating stigma, educating ourselves and others and ensuring we are prioritizing mental health needs.
Mental health is an issue that touches nearly everyone's life in some shape or form.
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year; and for 1 in 20 it is a serious mental illness.
- The vast majority of individuals with a substance use disorder in the U.S. are not receiving treatment.
- 60% of youth with major depression did not receive any mental health treatment.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-14 and 20-34.
We know that we can and must do better.
For our part in Stonington, we have in place a number of resources thanks to our team at Human Services, our Police Department, Schools and Nonprofit community. In Stonington, we want to do all we can to take a proactive role in removing the stigma that is all too often linked with mental health issues and ensure residents are able to connect with the best resources available.
For this year's Mental Health Awareness month, Child and Family Agency kicked off the month with a run/walk for mental health in town, and mid-month we will be rolling out a series of videos featuring a range of perspectives on this topic. Our teams at Human Services and Stonington schools also continue to work in close partnership to advance messages and share resources. We plan to close the month with a Mental Health Roundtable, which will be an interactive conversation with various members of our team in Stonington, reflecting on what we do well and where we can continue to improve. Residents are invited to join in this dialogue, which will take place at 5pm on May 31st at the Velvet Mill. If you have further ideas for us, or want to engage more, please reach out anytime.
There are many ways you can help. A few ideas are outlined below.
Support others. There are simple things that every person can say or do to help the people in their life who are struggling to get through the tough times. Here are tips for supporting others. Also know that when you take steps to help others, you are often also improving your own mental health. Another way to support others is by sharing your personal story with friends, family and even more broadly. We also encourage you to consider using social media for a positive impact and share your story or message of support with #MoreThanEnough #MentalHealthMatters and #MentalHealthMonth.
Support yourself. Just like your physical health, we also need to focus on our mental health. Screening for mental health conditions should be just as normal as screening for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or any other chronic health condition. Taking a mental health screening is one quick way to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Further, finding ways to decompress are critical to your mental health. Whether it’s a walk, gardening, reading, or calling a friend. Spending time in nature, on trails, and other open spaces is another effective way to cope. Join Hike Stonington to find more local spots and be part of a community initiative. More ideas for boosting your mental health can be found here. Below we have also provide additional resources for your consideration.
Through the Town of Stonington residents are able to access individual and family counseling services at no cost. Call us at Human Services (860) 535-5015 to schedule an intake appointment and be matched with one of our mental health professionals.
For additional support, resources, or questions please call us at human service, or know you can also call the United Way's hotline, 2-1-1, for assistance. The 211 hotline is available 24 hours a day. If you are in crisis, you can call 988. The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress. By calling or texting 988, you'll connect to mental health professionals with the Lifeline network.
If you are concerned about a relationship and would like someone to talk to, call CT Safe Connect – (888) 774-2900. Safe Futures is also available 24/7 via their confidential crisis line (860) 701-6001.
Please know, you are not alone.