24/7 Hotlines: Call or text 988 or text 741741

Happy Pride Month!

Happy Pride Month! During the month of June, we take time to emphasize the importance of acceptance in oneself and each other.

The LGBTQ+ community often face discrimination for expressing who they are, which should never happen. We are all human. We should all work together to be inclusive, no matter how similar or different we may be to each other.

Never be afraid to be who you are. ❤️‍🔥

Quinn at Band Together!

A few weeks ago, our Peer Support Specialist, Quinn, tabled at Band Together, a Young Adult Mental Health Awareness Fair.

At the fair, they got to meet many awesome teens and young adults in Connecticut, and watched musical performances from Diggity and Blonde Otter!

June 2024 Content!

June is here, which means the end of another school year and the beginning of summer!

Check out our flyer below for some content ideas for June 2024, which includes Pride Month, Men’s Health Month, and more!

As always, content does not have to limited to what’s on the flyer, it can be about anything you feel comfortable sharing!

Email us at turningpointct@positivedirections.org or DM us on Instagram if anything piques your interest!

RISE Leadership Training!

Join Rise Be is running The RISE Leadership Training, a FREE 4-part training series that will occur every Thursday in March from 10 AM-3:00 PM in Middletown, CT.

The learning experience is designed to promote recovery leadership among young adults currently receiving DMHAS Young Adult Services. Core topics include recovery, the transition to adulthood, social-emotional growth, and leadership. Students will also practice stress-management techniques to support trauma recovery. We will use a semi-structured curriculum with space for self-directed learning through creative expression and dialogue.

  • When:
    • Every Thursday in March (7th, 14th, 21st, 28th)
    • 10:00am-3:00pm
  • Where:
    • Rockfall Foundation
    • 27 Washington St #2
    • Middletown, CT 06457

Click HERE to register!

Birth Support, Education & Beyond: Support for Pregnant and Parenting Young Adults

BSEB (Birth Support, Education & Beyond, LLC) is a comprehensive perinatal support program that comes to you. The team of specialists works with pregnant and parenting youth, young adults and persons with significant trauma histories, mental health diagnoses, substance use disorder and vulnerable populations. BSEB works with these population for various stages of pregnancy, parenting and beyond.

If interested in learning more or filling out a referral form, click here.

Random Acts of Kindness Day: How You Can Spread Kindness

Did you know today is Random Acts of Kindness Day? Here are 10 ways you can make an impact today, and everyday.

  1. Pay for a strangers coffee
  2. Compliment someone’s outfit
  3. Thank your teacher for all they do
  4. Write positive words on sticky notes and leave them around town
  5. Smile at someone in passing
  6. Give up your seat for someone
  7. Hold the door open for someone
  8. Donate clothes you no longer want
  9. Leave a basket of tennis balls at the dog park
  10. Write letters to soldiers or elderly people
acts

CT Hearing Voices Network Support Groups

support

The Connecticut Hearing Voices Network (CTHVN) is designed to enhance current opportunities for people who hear voices, see visions or have other unusual sensory perceptions to find and build supportive peer communities through support groups and community education. CTHVN offers free supports groups to those who need a space to discuss their experiences. Use this link or call (860) 952-4050 for more information.

Share Your Voice!

voice

We are looking for Young Adults to contribute to TurningPointCT! Unsure of what to write about? Check out the flyer for ideas for the month of February. Not much of a writer? Not a problem – we have a podcast too. Podcasts are released bi-monthly and hosted by our team members. We’d love to have you join. Share Your Voice!

Where Do I Start?

At TurningPointCT we want to create a safe space for our peers! Especially make your life a little easier!

  • Share your Mental Health Journey or read about your peer’s journeys here.
  • Interested in contributing to the podcast, but want more info on being a guest? Click here to learn more.

– The TurningPointCT Team

National Human Trafficking Prevention Month: What You Need to Know

What is human trafficking?

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), human trafficking is:

The “…[use of] force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.”

Who is most targeted to human trafficking?

The short answer is that anyone can be human trafficked. But, there are certain populations/circumstances that may be more vulnerable to it. For example:

  • Native Indigenous/American People
  • People of Color
  • Those in the Foster Care/Juvenile Justice System
  • Those of the LGBTQ+ Community
  • People Facing Economic Struggles
  • Youth & Children
  • Those who Recently Experienced a Natural Disaster

How can I identify if someone is being trafficked?

An individual of human trafficking has more than 3 of the following identifiable characteristics. There are many individuals who present almost all these characteristics:

  • Change in Physical Appearance & Use of Language
  • Bruising, Broken Bones, New Tattoos that seem out of character (Read the Following for Tattoo Examples)
    • Branding Marks (seen under black light)
    • Hidden Barcodes
    • Small Numbers
    • Anything Royalty Related
      • Commonly accompanied with a “name”
  • Self-Harm, Use of Substances, Declining Mental Health
  • Missing a lot of school
  • Running away from home
  • Acting more promiscuous in person or online
  • Influx of new clothes, gadgets, accessories
  • Using common trafficking term “the game”, “daddy”, “manager”

There are some individuals who are not aware that they are a victim of trafficking. They are commonly brainwashed into thinking the “love” is real. Therefore, the use of their language may appear more subtle, however, loyal. The bullet points above still apply to these individuals.

I think someone I know is a victim of human trafficking or I am a target, what do I do?

There is a hand symbol that signified the need of EMERGENT help.

human

If you see someone doing this hand gesture, call 911. If you feel as though someone is in danger, call 911 (even if they don’t sign this).

Utilize the National Human Trafficking Hotline. If you are reporting human trafficking, you can leave an anonymous tip. If you are the person needing help, they will connect you to recourses and bring you to safety.

Be sure not to confront the trafficker or alert the victim. This may make it harder for the victim to receive help and can put you in ganger.

How can I avoid being a victim of trafficking?

  • Do not talk with strangers on the internet without VPN and/or give out personal information (this includes chat rooms, social media, and gaming platforms)
  • Verify all job opportunities that are presented to you – traffickers will offer victims a “job” that turns into trafficking
    • Job examples include and are not limited to babysitting, and photography opportunities for a large sum of money.
  • Know the signs of abusive relationships
  • Always trust your gut, if you feel uncomfortable or in danger tell someone (trusted adult, family member, 911)
  • Do NOT indicate that you live alone to anyone! Have a friend be around if you are going on a date and/or when a new person is around!
  • Do NOT put anything that identifies specific information about you and/or your children on your car! For Example:
    • School/Institution Stickers
    • Family Stickers that show how many people live in your household

Links to learn more about human trafficking…

National Human Trafficking Hotline

Department of Homeland Security – Blue Campaign

Hope for Justice

U.S. Department of Justice

The Environmental Crisis and Mental Health

Have you ever experienced anxiety around the environmental crisis we are currently facing? Well, turns out there is a term for it…eco-anxiety. Read the article below, written by a Yale student, to learn more about eco-anxiety and what it means.

Feeling Grateful and Giving Back

There’s no right or wrong way of giving back to the community! Feeling grateful has led me to look not only inward but also outward of how I can help.

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Reflecting on the holiday season…

Over the holiday season, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be privileged. Unlike some, I was lucky enough to grow up with a pantry that was always full and new school supplies each year. This year in particular, I felt an overwhelming sadness for those who do not have the same. I think it can be very easy to go about your day and not realize everything you have at your disposal that others may not. In the new year, I have decided I want to give back to my community.

giving back
Cooking breakfast for families at the Ronald McDonald House in New Haven with a college club.

What can I do to give back?

There is no right or wrong way of giving back! Here are some ideas to get you started…

  1. Put together kits and bring them to your local shelter
  2. Check on your elderly neighbors
  3. Pick up trash along the beach or at parks in your area
  4. Write thank you notes to First Responders in your area
  5. Donate children’s books to local schools or families in need
  6. Hold a food drive and donate items to a food shelter
  7. Write birthday cards and drop them off to a nursing home – some residents do not have anyone to celebrate their birthday with
  8. Sign up to cook a meal at a Ronald McDonald House

Whatever you do, big or small, giving back will never go unnoticed!

-Maria

When Healthcare Providers Need Healthcare

Working in the medical field is such a strange job. When you really sit down and think about it, medical providers have to be a jack of all trades. At the same time, they must be an expert in the area they choose to work. Looking out into the workforce, there are very few careers like it. When you feel drawn to work in healthcare, it can become all consuming. It’s like a shiny new toy sitting under the Christmas tree. You okay with that toy everyday for about a month or two. Then after the month is up, you don’t pick up the toy again. This is the case for some people in healthcare. But, for some they’ve found the trick to longevity.

Lessons taken away from working in the medical field…

The trick to continuing to pick up that toy and to continue playing with it for years, is to constantly be curious. Look at the toy as a whole, not on a granular level. If you choose to look too closely too fast, you will miss the chip in the paint, the loose button or the broken sound effect. Healthcare is not much different. Working in the medical field teaches you how to experience patients as a whole. When you begin to look at them too granularly, you don’t see the full picture. You may miss the full prescription bottles sitting on the nightstand. Or the lack of food in their fridge. Providers see patients on what could be their worst day. It is easy to forget to a moment and think about the effect their situation may have on their mental health.

The most valuable lesson to be taken away from those experiences is to provide compassion and comfort. Look at the big picture; while also treating the symptoms at hand. For providers with passion, the toy never becomes less shiny. It becomes something you strive to improve upon. You go to the store and find the right paint color, the string needed to sew up the button, and we bring it to a hobby store to have the sound effect fixed.

healthcare

In order to go back to the store year after year, it is imperative to nurture your mental health. Medical providers, as strong as they are, are still human. In one shift they may see a child in the PICU take their last breath. They may see a 26 year old shot with gun shot wounds hanging on to the last moments of life. They may also see someone come into the world. And an elderly patient come back to life in front of their eyes. But, unfortunately the bad can out-way the good; for some more than others. Despite this, mental health resources are oftentimes not provided. And when they are, providers do not gravitate towards seeking help.

Why healthcare providers may not seek help…

As a medical provider, you are hardwired to help people even if that means leaving yourself behind. In a perfect world, incorporating mental health check-ins once a week or at the end of each shift would be the perfect answer. But the truth is, the only way to go about fixing the broken system is honesty. This means we need to be honest when asked “how are you?” by a colleague, employee, or supervisor. Day in and day out you ask your patients to be honest with you. Why? Because when they are, providers can help them in an effective and timely manner. It’s time the medical field starts to incorporate honesty around mental health in an effort to combat this epidemic.

It isn’t until providers begin to share our struggles and triumphs that a real change can be made. The toy may not look the same as it did under the Christmas tree, but it still functions. All thanks to the time you take to maintain it. 

– Maria

Using Art as Therapy

I have loved creating art since I was little. Art class was always one of my favorite subjects in school. I love creating art and gifting it to other people, but until this past year, I rarely made art for myself. I have come to realize, art is a form of therapy for me. Over this past year, I have begun to use creating art as a way to gage how my mental health is. I have found when I am going through a depressive episode, I stop painting completely. When I am feeling super anxious, I use painting as a way to calm my mind. I also find painting helps me feel productive on days where I feel like I cannot perform how I want to.

Recently, I created a painting on the biggest canvas I’ve ever used. Despite this painting taking weeks to finish, it gave me something to look forward to each day. Whether you are new to creating art or a pro, art can be an outlet to express your feelings and take time for yourself!

From, Maria