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I wanted to talk about an exciting imitative CT is a part of. CT STRONG (Seamless Transition and Recovery Opportunities Through Network Growth) Aims to help young adults find their next steps. We understand every persons recovery is unique, and no “one size fits all approach” works. Through Peer Specialists who have been been there, CT STRONG aims to help others get started my meeting people where they are at. We currently help young adults 16-25 in the towns of Milford, New London, and Middletown. Our goal with this 5 year Grant is to take the lessons learned about what works and what does not work for us, and use it to shape future mental health services.
In my role as coordinator for the program, I see myself like a bridge connecting islands, youth/young adults, and adults. What I find rewarding is the level of involvement young adults are having in the development and planning of services and programs. There has not been many programs that have considered that. It is not where it needs to be, but it is getting better.
I would love to pose all of you a question. This will give me some inspiration as I continue the work!
If you had the power to change mental health services in any way to make them better, what would you do?
I would love to hear some suggestions or input from you all. Thank you 🙂
Go CTSTRONG! I Love the name, it’s so inspiring and shows our strength in numbers. As a coordinator as well, I def see myself in the same light (as a bridge connecting islands). Lately, I have seen a lot more young adults take initiative and be a strong voice in the entire development and planning process for all types of different programs that are intended to assist us.
We all have the power to make changes to mental health services but it certainly takes a bunch of us to really make our power come alive and for it to really take action. I would continue to do what I’m doing, opening more doors and inspiring more young adults to make noise in mental health. We all need the confidence and the right people supporting us to really go hard!
This is great! I am extremely passionate about spreading guidance, hope and peer support to the Young Adult community!! I feel when I was younger, I could have been afforded a lot of painful, near death experiences if different approaches or solutions were available when I needed them the most. Instead, I spent years in and out of hospitals and then detoxes and I’m sure you can fill in the blanks.
If I were able to change the mental health services, honestly I would encourage our school systems to have peers engaged in the care of the students. Classrooms, guidance offices, presentations, etc. The more hope and knowledge spread, the better chance we as a community have. Our voice and our hope matters.
I actually live in the Middletown area and I’m very inspired by your blog. Thank you so much for sharing Michael!
I agree Courtney and it’s really cool that you shared that. A lot of my friends say the same exact thing and always wish that they knew about opportunities and solutions like these in the beginning. It would have made their recovery and everything that came with it a little easier to manage.
That’s not a bad idea to put out there… the school systems are kind of like the second barrier after home, where mental health is a huge factor and has an affect on peer engagement. This would be a great place to start. It’s actually quite shocking if it doesn’t already exist.. I’ll have to do some research. If not, that could be a great project for you 🙂
I am the Peer Specialist in our Middletown location and I work in the school with clients all of the time. We actually get a big selection of clients referred to us by the school based clinicians and guidance counselors.
In the beginning of the school year I did more presentations for the school, but we recently ran a basketball clinic at the Y for Middle School Age kids (the clinic “coaches” were run by the high school kids that we serve as clients) so it’s a great way to combine volunteering and leadership with our program.
The Young Adult Connection Community has added two new groups throughout the state. Join other young adults as we talk, hang out, create art, and connect with others. These groups are an outlet for the everyday challenges and stressors we may face. Lead by other young adults, this group is unique in that it’s a special safe place for people the age of 18 – 29.
NAMI Shoreline is sponsoring a new young adult support group in Guilford. The group will run the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 6:30 to 8:00PM. The location of the group is the Shoreline Vineyard Church Parish Center at 510 Village Walk Plaza in Guilford.
NAMI on Campus at UConn Storrs will be sponsoring another group from 6:00 to 7:00PM the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month. The group will be held in the Student Union, room 109A. You do not need to be a UConn student to participate!
Shoutout to NAMI on Campus! That’s a big deal. My cousin is at UConn Storrs and I know she can def benefit from that. These groups are spreading all over CT and that says a lot. Thanks for trying to spread the word and for caring.
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. 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.
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