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Fairfield County Walks for Mental Health

Join the region’s coalition of mental health advocates for the first annual Fairfield County Walks for Mental Health event on Saturday, May 6th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the Norwalk Green (parking available on Park Street).

Warm up with some laughter exercise on the Green just before Senator Bob Duff opens Mental Health Awareness Month with an official proclamation from Governor Malloy. We will be joined by state and local officials including Senator Toni Boucher and Representatives Cristin McCarthy-Vahey, Chris Perone, Jonathan Steinberg, Fred Wilms, and Terrie Wood.

Walk with us down East Avenue (1 mile round trip), check out the Labyrinth, Healing Garden and Hope-Pray-Dream Board at St. Paul’s Church, or just come to show your support for the cause of mental health especially now when state funding is so much at risk. Free admission and complimentary purple bandannas for all.

RSVP to info@swrmhb.org or (203) 840-1187 to let us know how many people will be walking with you.

The Walk kicks off a calendar of almost 50 events across the region in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month including movies, talks, trainings, and more. Find the full calendar of regional events at http://www.HealthyMindsCT.org.

Chechnya

“If my family finds out I’m gay, then no authorities, no troops are needed. They will kill me themselves.” A gay Chechen man.

This sounds too familiar. If you have been following international news recently, you probably came across this story:

Reports of human rights abuses in Chechnya

In 2017, in this day and age, religious fanatics are still killing innocent people. So, from what I understand, the Russian authorities in the Republic of Chechnya, which is a Muslim stronghold has been imprisoning gay men or men assumed to be gay and torturing them in detention centers.

This might sound normal coming out of Russia. But Russia is not the only place where this kind of violence is happening. I’ve heard so many stories of gay men being killed in my country. So many killed without a trace – without an effort from law enforcement to investigate the killing. The label ‘gay’ removes legitimacy from such cases. Families refuse to pay for their children burial. If you are gay, then you are a scourge to the grave.

Living in America has taken my mind off so many things and for some time. I think that I have come to take some things for granted, like safety and peace of mind. Elsewhere in the world, this kind of ‘privilege’ is still a figment of the imagination.

Maybe if I had stayed in Jamaica, I would have waited hopelessly for the United Nations and the American Government to come to my aid. So much is wrong with the world. The good guys aren’t even allowed anymore to speak up for the oppressed.

Waking up this morning must be one of the hardest things to do while living in Chechnya. It’s plain simply sad. I’m hoping someone steps in and do something about what is happening there. I’m hoping something changes.