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About Us

Welcome to TurningPointCt.org!

TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. While we’re not clinicians, we know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help. Fortunately, we found what worked for us. Our goal is to provide information and support to help you choose your path so that you don’t have to struggle the way we did.

So, welcome to TurningPointCT.org—guiding your search for mental wellness. Our mission is to empower teens and young adults in their search for emotional and mental health. Our website will help you understand your options and learn how to navigate the behavioral health system:

  • We help you learn about treatment models, local community supports, and state and national resources.
  • We connect you with other teens and young adults who may be struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm, thoughts of suicide, addiction, mood swings, eating disorders, substance abuse, or any form of emotional distress or mental illness.

Meet The Team

Kailey MarcAurele, Project Coordinator & Peer Leader

kailey profile

Kailey joined TurningPointCT.org as the social media assistant in February of 2021. In September of 2021, she became TurningPointCT.org’s Project Coordinator & Peer Leader.

Kailey is a young adult who is passionate about helping to end the stigma that surrounds mental health. She is a mental health advocate that is in recovery from several mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and complex post-traumatic stress disorder. She is also in recovery from various unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Kailey openly shares her struggles with her mental health. For her senior project in college, she started the blog Combating My Anxiety: A Life Long Journey to paint a true picture of what it’s like living with mental illness through personal stories and art. Her hope was that others could relate to what she was sharing and to help end the stigma by speaking about her mental health.

Kailey graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in New Media Studies in August of 2020. During school, she learned various skills such as graphic design, how to create audio pieces, how to create video pieces, and a lot of photography skills.

Kailey’s social media experience comes from working on her mom’s blog Low Carb Yum. Kailey has been working for her mom since 2015. She helps with various tasks such as photographing the recipes, creating meal plans, creating content for social media, and scheduling content out.

Kailey is a very creative person and she uses art as well as music as ways to cope. She likes to play the guitar, the piano, and the ukulele as well as sing. She also loves to take portraits. Her favorite thing to capture when photographing people is their raw emotion. For this reason, candid photos are her favorite to take.

Spending time in nature is one of her favorite ways to decompress. She especially loves to be by the water. She is very big into nature and wildlife photography. Photographing waterfalls, birds, and seals are a favorite of hers. Kailey enjoys connecting with others who also love photography and the outdoors.

Read more about Kailey’s lived experience with mental health: Kailey’s Dual-Diagnosis Recovery Story, Age 23

Contact: kmarcaurele@positivedirections.org

Dominique Harris, Project Assistant

Dominique joined TurningPointCT.org as the project assistant in September 2021.  She is a mental health advocate that is passionate about ending the stigma that surrounds mental health as well as helping those who may not have any advocates.

Dominique also works as a paraprofessional at her local middle school in Southeastern CT, she absolutely loves her students and wants nothing but the best for them. It’s one of the main reasons why she is currently pursuing a BA in Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. She hopes to become a school psychologist someday so that she can provide the best mental health care for her current and future students.

Most of Dominique’s experience comes from the work she did with and for her high school robotics team, 2168 The Aluminum Falcons. While on the team she helped with various projects including contacting sponsors, applying for awards, coordinating outreach with peers and everything in between! She hopes to use her prior knowledge to bring new ideas to the table at Turning Point CT.

Dominique is a very bubbly, kind but old soul and she uses baking while listening to music as way to cope when things are hard. She absolutely loves Earth, Wind and Fire, they’re her favorite music group and such a big part of who she is. All her friends will tell you how much that group means to her. Their music is just so uplifting and has been such a positive influence on her life. Her favorite thing to bake is bread and her favorite EWF song is September. She also absolutely loves giraffes, they’re her favorite animal.

She hopes to make a difference in the world even if it’s just a small one.

Read more about Dominique’s lived experience with mental health: Dominique’s Story About Learning To Reach Out For Help, Age 24

Contact: dharris@positivedirections.org

Allison Kernan, Peer Support Specialist

Allison is a credentialed Recovery Support Specialist and Recovery Coach, serving CT youth and young adults. She specializes in providing peer support for recovery from trauma, mental health, and substance use disorders. She was drawn to this work due to witnessing and surviving trauma throughout her childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.

Through the TurningPointCT project, Ally works to improve peer support services in the state as a policy advisor and liaison to young adult treatment programs. She also offers direct peer support to youth and young adults on a limited basis.

She graduated Gateway Community College and received an Associates degree in Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counseling. She gained experience counseling through interning at CT Counseling Centers and working at Recovery Network of Programs. Ally continues to further her personal recovery through therapy, peer support, and meditation. She is a SMART Recovery Facilitator, Narcan Trainer, and is also a Recovery Coach Academy Trainer.

In her free time she enjoys spending time with her loved ones, her pets, and publishing her first book.

Contact: akernan@positivedirections.org

Therell Mayes, Social Media Assistant

Therell joined TurningPointCT as their Social Media Assistant in September 2021.  He is a young adult who wants to help other young adults who are struggling with mental health like he has.  Therell is a student at Norwalk Community College, majoring in Liberal Arts & Science.  His experience with social media began as a hobby in middle school.  Since then, he has learned how to use various social media platforms to promote his photography, music, and YouTube videos.  Therell loves to write screenplays, poetry, and lyrics as well as record music, photograph nature, and exercise.

Read more about Therell’s lived experience with mental health: Therell’s Story of Overcoming Anxiety and Depression Using Coping Skills

Contact: tmayes@positivedirections.org

Get In Contact

Get in contact with us! We need your input to make this resource meet your needs.

– Email Project Coordinator & Peer Leader, Kailey on behalf of The TurningPointCT.org team

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Disclaimer

TurningPointCT.org is based at Positive Directions, The Center for Prevention and Counseling, and funded by Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  The project is managed by and in consultation with young people in recovery from around Connecticut.

TurningPointCT.org does not provide treatment services, or referrals to clinicians or treatment facilities. We do not have clinicians available on-hand. If you need help right away, dial 2-1-1, + option 1 for a Crisis Counselor in Connecticut, call the National Suicide Lifeline (800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line (741741). (You can find the numbers for these at the top of every page of the website). Otherwise, please refer to our Resources page and Resource Map to find lists of programs near you.

Please report any problems with the website and give us feedback at kmarcaurele@positivedirections.org.

Turning Point CT org