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Summer Check In Video

Hey guys! We are here with the TurningPointCT interns: Adrianna and Nahjeera along with Eliza and Adrianna’s aunt Woodeline!

We left the office for a little while to go across the street to The Norwalk Green and enjoy the sunlight and Summer air.

At the start of every SMART Recovery meeting we all check in with highs and lows- now we are at the Norwalk Green to hang out and check in about our Summer!

How is your Summer going? What is your low and your high of the season and break? Check in with us on this post!

 

To see more of our interns check out our YouTube page here

and listen to their other videos and podcasts in our media room here

New Story: Nahjeera’s Journey with Depression, Anxiety, and Self-Harm

Hey guys! We have a really great new story about depression, anxiety and self-harm.

Nahjeera is a senior in high school and this Summer she is interning with us at TurningPointCT.org

Her journey will mean something to anyone who has ever felt alone- she talks about her struggles with depression and anxiety, and how she used self-harm to cope with things.

Nahjeera also talks about her hope and recovery– how she no longer self-harms and instead helps other people at her school who might be struggling, too.

If you have ever felt alone, know that you are not. Check out our stories page to read about other young people just like you.

Click here to read Nahjeera’s story

And, click here to talk to Nahjeera and welcome her to TurningPointCT.org

Vaping Podcast

In this podcast we spoke about vaping and smoking. All of us are in high school, some of us just finished our freshman year and Nahjeera is is graduating this year.

Emma, Adrianna and Nahjeera all vape, but Cindy doesn’t and really does not like smoking.

We all talked about why we vape, and when we started. Some of us were in middle school when we started, and others tried it and then stopped for a while.

We spent a lot of time talking about why people vape, including our friends. Vapes come in a ton of flavors, and a lot of us only do it for the taste, or because friends suggested it for stress. Eliza lead us in a conversation about why our friends like to vape, and if we want to stop.

our views on vaping and smoking,why we smoked and why don’t.

Some people smoke because of popularity or  as a coping mechanism. We also talked about how advertising makes people smoke more, and why some of us wouldn’t try certain flavors, like tobacco.

A lot of our friends in high school vape, and we talked about how addictive it is and if we think we are addicted.

We all talked about how we would quit if we ever decided to, and how we could help our friends quit if they asked us for help.

If you have ever vaped and want help, or just want to hear about it from the perspective of a high school, then check out our first summer podcast!

 

 

A few months ago, Eliza and Diamond (our SMART group facilitators!) were at one of our high schools, talking about vaping during lunch. To check out what that was like, click here.

Vaping Podcast

 

In this podcast we spoke about vaping and smoking. All of us are in high school, some of us just finished our freshman year and Nahjeera is is graduating this year.

Emma, Adrianna and Nahjeera all vape, but Cindy doesn’t and really does not like smoking.

We all talked about why we vape, and when we started. Some of us were in middle school when we started, and others tried it and then stopped for a while.

We spent a lot of time talking about why people vape, including our friends. Vapes come in a ton of flavors, and a lot of us only do it for the taste, or because friends suggested it for stress. Eliza lead us in a conversation about why our friends like to vape, and if we want to stop.

our views on vaping and smoking,why we smoked and why don’t.

Some people smoke because of popularity or  as a coping mechanism. We also talked about how advertising makes people smoke more, and why some of us wouldn’t try certain flavors, like tobacco.

A lot of our friends in high school vape, and we talked about how addictive it is and if we think we are addicted.

We all talked about how we would quit if we ever decided to, and how we could help our friends quit if they asked us for help.

If you have ever vaped and want help, or just want to hear about it from the perspective of a high school, then check out our first summer podcast!

 

 

A few months ago, Eliza and Diamond (our SMART group facilitators!) were at one of our high schools, talking about vaping during lunch. To check out what that was like, click here. 

 

This podcast also appears in our media room, here.

New Story: Marco’s story

We have a new story on our stories page!

“I became aware of my possible depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder in high school…Once I allowed myself to be vulnerable with the universe, and more specifically my therapist, I noticed gradual changes in my psyche…”

Click this link to read more of Marco’s story

Opioid Treatment for CT young people!

The ASSERT Treatment Model (ATM) provides intensive family based treatment for young adults up to 21 years old with opioid problems. ATM is a new treatment that combines three services:

1. Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)

2. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

3. Recovery Management Checkups and Supports (RMCS)

ATM can be delivered in the privacy of your home or community clinic.

Typical ATM treatment includes 4-6 months or therapy (MDFT), followed by up to 12 months of recovery support (RMCS)

MAT is not required to participate in ATM, however, it may be initiated at at any time during treatment

The decision to prescribe MAT is made by the youth, family and physician

72% of Connecticut is covered by ATM— Here is a list of provider agencies that offer ATM:

CT SMART Recovery Groups

SMART Recovery(R) support groups are popping up all over Connecticut! SMART Recovery has been around for more than 25 years, but it’s pretty new to CT. Thanks to state funding, there are now free SMART Recovery support groups for teens, young adults, and Family & Friends throughout CT.

We are big fans of this support group model. Our young adult staff here at TurningPointCT got trained to be facilitators. As part of the training, we had to try the skills out on ourselves–and the skills worked! Check out “What We Like About SMART Recovery” on TurningPointCT.org/smart.

So what is SMART Recovery?

“SMART” stands for Self Management And Recovery Training. SMART Recovery is a peer support group run by trained facilitators. It helps you cope with any struggle: substance abuse, anxiety, depression, bullying, fighting, etc. But it’s more than your average support group! It also helps you develop coping skills like analyzing your behaviors, triggers, and reactions.  If you’ve attended 12-step meetings, this is different. There’s no language about a higher power, and there is cross-talk allowed. You get to take control of your issues and figure out ways to make positive changes.

What about SMART Recovery Family & Friends?

SMART Recovery Family & Friends groups provide mutual support for people who are affected by a loved one who is dealing with some kind of addictive or negative behavior. It could be anything: substance abuse, gambling, hoarding, self-harm, an eating disorder, mental illness. If your friend, roommate, or family member is struggling and you don’t know what to do, this group can help you. You’ll get support from people who are dealing with similar struggles. You’ll also learn skills to handle their behaviors better and help get them into treatment. (SMART Family & Friends is based on the CRAFT model.)

How can I find a SMART Recovery Group near me?

For more information on in-person SMART Recovery groups that meet right here in Connecticut, click here. Please note that most groups in CT are for teens (up to age 18), young adults (18-25), or Family & Friends. If you’re looking for a group for you as an adult, you may want to try an online meeting at www.smartrecovery.org

 

New April Feature: Panic Room Norwalk

Hi everyone! We have a new April Feature up!

On Saturday April 6th Eliza, Ally, and 10 teens from Norwalk and Fairfield completed an escape room at The Panic Room in Norwalk! It was really fun, and we finished with a few minutes to spare!! Stay tuned to see what next months free wellness activity for SMART Teen Norwalk will be!!

Until then, check out our feature here! 

Calendar for Mental Health Awareness Days: 2019

TurningPointCT.org’s 2019 Awareness Calendar is here!

Every month there are awareness days that celebrate and recognize different things relating to mental health and advocacy. Have you ever wondered when all those awareness days are?

If so, check out ours below! Scroll down to find it!

Download the PDF or save the PNG to your desktop. Print it, share it, and enjoy it! #YouAreNotAlone

So, if you ever have felt like you are the only one experiencing your struggles, you are not alone. These awareness days exist to remind us of that fact. Together, we are strong. Love yourself, spread awareness, and fight stigma.

Make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter to see our posts on each awareness day. You can also find out if there are any events happening in honor of the days.

Questions? Ask the forum!

Did we leave out any awareness days that you want us to include? Or, do you have any suggestions? Then let us know in the forum!

You can scroll down for the PDF!

Here is the PDF link:
2019 awareness calendar PDF

And scroll down for the PNG! Hint: you can save these by dragging them to your desktop. If you are on your phone hold down your finger and save the picture!

Here is the entire calendar, month-by-month in PNG form:
January 2019:
January 2019
February 2019:
February 2019
March 2019:
March 2019
April 2019:
April 2019
May 2019:
May 2019
June 2019:
June 2019
July 2019:
July 2019
August 2019:
August 2019
September 2019:
September 2019
October 2019:
October 2019
November 2019:
November 2019
December 2019:
December 2019

If you want to check out last year’s awareness calendar, click here!

Norwalk SMART Teen Group!

We have launched a SMART Recovery Teen Group in Norwalk, CT!

Run by Blogger Eliza, find ways to live a balanced lifestyle with teens your age, all over pizza!

Every Thursday from 5:30-7 at Norwalk Public Library 1 Belden Ave, Norwalk.

Join the convo & read more about it here

Not in the Norwalk, CT area? Find a group near you

We need your help! Donate today to TurningPointCT.org

We are asking for your help! 

Donate to TurningPointCT.org today or on Giving Day (Thursday, February 28)!

 

TurningPointCT.org is Connecticut’s peer support community by and for teens and young adults. We’ve got your back!

 

Our website offers a safe space online to share your story, talk about your problems, get information, and connect with resources. Our staff runs SMART Recovery support groups for teens in Norwalk and Fairfield… with more to come! We connect with other young people at schools and colleges across the state through speaking events, workshops, and resource fairs.  Whatever you’re struggling with–mental illness, addiction, homelessness, bullying, family problems–we’ve been there too.

Help us raise $10,000 to support our small part-time staff of young adults in recovery to be able to keep reaching out to schools, making connections with young people, improving our online support, and running support groups! We want every young person to know that they are not alone.

Donate to TurningPointCT.org today or on February 28th–Fairfield County’s Giving Day.

 

Click this link to Donate today, and share this page with your friends and family so we can reach our goal.

 

Giving Day runs from 12:00am to 11:59pm on Thursday, February 28th. Help us to reach our goal of raising $10,000. 

Your donation may even help us get a bonus grant if you’re one of our first or one of our last donors on Giving Day! If we get at least 25 donations of $25 right after midnight when Giving Day starts, we can win an extra $1000. So think of us Wednesday night before you go to bed and just stay up a few minutes past midnight! If you miss that chance, then please donate Thursday night between 9pm and 11:59pm. If we get enough donations during that time period, we may even win a $2,500 bonus!

Whether you can give as much as possible, or you know people who care about mental health who can donate, we need your help. Click the link to give what you can, share this page, and ask your friends to give what they can.

Together we will raise $10,000 to support young people struggling with their mental wellness! 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

Click the picture to donate!

 

(If you want to learn more about Fairfield County’s Giving Day overall, click here.)

 

Recovery: From All Wrapped Up Christmas Show by Step’n Out Dance Studio

Step’n Out Dance Studios, owned by Susan Tomaselli in Norwalk, CT hosted a Christmas Show called All Wrapped Up. The second act included a dance called “Recovery”, choreographed by Shelby Greger. Recovery dancers are from Step’n Out’s Girls Advanced Hip Hop 2 class, and include: Olivia D’Elia, Julia Lihv, Nahjeera Miller, Kate Riordan, and Marissa Roc. Watch this incredibly moving dance, which was opened by the announcer saying, “To all those who are suffering, you are not alone”. To those of us who fight every day to be O.K., this is for you! Enjoy, and happy holidays from TurningPointCT.org

Cursed.

“You are c u r s e d,”
They told me.

You do not know how to SEE,
You only see through a veil your mind creates, those eyes no one else knows about
You only see the good in those around you
Even if they tread you underfoot
You only gaze at others through the eyes of an old soul,
Expecting them to look back at you the same way

“You are c u r s e d,”
They told me.

You do not know how to love
You choose only to love your hate, your rage, your terror
And worst of all, have found comfort in it all
You have found love not in yourself,
But in your abusers
Yet your heart is greedy and so full of the ability to GIVE

“You are c u r s e d,”
They told me.

You know so much and explain so little,
Tell me do you know how your intuition works?
Can you explain your own emotions if asked?
Can you give yourself the time of day without thinking of someone else first?
You have grown complaisant to your pain,
You have come to anticipate it and thank those who give it

“But you are B L E S S E D,”
They told me.

As you fill your wounds with lacquered gold,
A scarred statue who feels so profoundly it connects to the souls around them
You cover yourself in the finest of cloth to hide from the snares in your mind
You have turned your demons, your monsters, into your familiars – who now service your needs
Your veins beat to a drum singing of L O V E,
And W O R T H

“My dear, you are blessed.”

FREE CORN MAZE!

Help navigate through a 4.5 acre corn field that offers 1.5 miles of twists, turns and checkpoints! This is a great opportunity for team building and will end with some homemade ice cream & Italian ices which are made FRESH DAILY on the premises!

This event will be taken place on Sunday, Oct. 28th at Plasko’s Farm 670 Daniels Farm Rd in Trumbull.

We will be starting at 12:30 and will have plenty of time to go through the maze, eat some ice cream, and say hello to the critters on the farm!

Need help with transportation? We got you!

All we need from you is an RSVP and please invite/bring a friend!

You can RSVP to Ally @ Akernan@healthymindsct.org

Join in on the convo

corn

Luca’s Recovery Month

Hey Guys! It’s Recovery month this month, check out what Luca’s got to say about it and check out his blog “Heavy Metal Recovery” on our forums

Eliza’s Recovery Video

September is Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Month.

Eliza is talking about why she fights for recovery, what her life was like, and how it has changed.

Share your recovery story with us, too and tell us why you fight.

Submit your video here

Watch the video on Vimeo, Youtube, and TurningPointCT.org

Not Getting Notifications From Us?

 

Hey TurningPointCT.org! We have recently switched up our system to improve this site. So if you’re wondering where your email notifications are, check your spam folder! Remove us from spam so you can get up-to-date posts and other info. Have questions? Email us at coordinator@turningpointct.org

Podcast: Is Spirituality What Young People Need?

Hi TurningPointCT.org! Today we sat with Chris, Connor, Ally, Beth, and Olivia to talk about spirituality.

We answered questions like:

Is spirituality always religious?

What does the term ‘spirituality’ mean to you?

How has spirituality helped shape your mental wellness?

Join in on the conversation by answering these questions too: https://turningpointct.org/lets-talk/topic/podcast-is-spirituality-what-young-people-need/

FAB Vlog from Brien McMahon High School

Watch vloggers Fatima, Ashley, and Bryanna (FAB), who are students at Brien McMahon High School. Fatima and Bryanna are at The Chill Out Lounge, TurningPointCT.org’s activity room at Norwalk High School’s Week of Wellness. We had stations of different sensory items and activities to “chill out”! Enjoy!

And, thank you Fatima and Bryanna for sharing your vlog with us! Welcome to TurningPointCT.org!

If you want to talk to them, leave feedback, or start a conversation here is their forum post! 

What We Like About SMART Recovery ®

Listen to our young adults Eliza, Ally, and Olivia talk about why they choose SMART Recovery ® and why you should too!

To watch the video and other shared videos click here

If you’d like to know more info on our group & join in on the discussion click here

If you’d like to get more info on SMART Recovery click here

Podcast: How to Survive Freshman Year of High School

TurningPointCT.org blogger’s Olivia and Ally sat with Norwalk High School teens to talk about their experiences being a freshman. Listen to Ben, Emma, Nia, AJ, and Caesar share their fears, challenges, successes, and advice to incoming freshman & current students.

They want TurningPointCT.org listeners to know how to survive your freshman year and ways that teachers can help with giving their students’ an awesome high school experience.

We asked them & now we ask you:

What was the transition to high school like for you?

What kind of challenges did you have and still have?

What do you think should teachers should know?

 

Keep the conversation going here: https://turningpointct.org/lets-talk/topic/freshmanyear/

 

Listen to the podcast here:

SMART Recovery Teen Group In Fairfield, CT

Join us for a free SMART Recovery Teen Support Group on Friday’s in Fairfield, CT!

Learn ways to gain control of your life and sort through it all in the company of your peers, run by trained TurningPointCT young adults.

This is for anyone struggling with anything: stress, school, peers, family, self harm, mental health and substance use disorders, bullying, fighting, etc.

Snacks are provided and monthly social activities with peers (that you get to help plan!)

We can help with transportation.

Starting Friday, February 16th from 3:30-5:00pm
First Congregational Church
Wakeman Hall
148 Beach Road, Fairfield CT

Need more info?
Contact Ally:
203-840-1187 (Office)
akernan@healthymindsct.org

P.S. if you are a high school student that enjoys mentoring or a social work/psychology student and see this as something you would like to get involved in, please contact us!

Join the conversation here: https://turningpointct.org/lets-talk/topic/smart-recovery-teen-group/

Help us end youth homelessness!!!

Hi everybody! The 2018 Youth Count started today! The Youth Count is a statewide effort to count all of the homeless and unstably housed young adults aged 13-25 in CT.

The Youth Count is conducted by volunteers throughout the state who go to hot-spots (places with high concentrations of young people- such as bus stops, train stations, corner stores, etc.) and other locations, community organizations, and a “come and be counted”.

The survey is quick, easy, and VERY important to help people understand the needs of young adults and homeless youth in our state. Our goal is to end youth homelessness by 2020, but we can’t do that without knowing the need! This information is used to propel our state towards that goal, get funding and to provide resources to those in need.

So from the 24th-30th volunteers will be out there looking for people to survey!!
If you would like to help, let me know, it’s not too late to volunteer and we NEED your help!!

Also, spread the word about the come and be counted event!! It is happening on the 30th statewide. Below are the flyers for the Fairfield County Come and Be Counted Events. If you would like the information about the ones in other parts of the state, let me know and I will find the information!
There will be pizza, goody bags, and resource guides to help you if you are in need of help!
Help spread the word!!!

homeless 

 

learn more here

To help: Contact Eliza at emcnamara@healthymindsct.org

Are our youth over-medicated?

We’re back and this time we are talking our experience with medication and asking the question, are our youth being overmedicated?

Listen to Ally, Olivia, Eliza, and Michael

overmedicated

share their experiences with medication for behavioral health issues as teens and young adults. In this podcast episode, we talk about both our struggles and successes with medication and how we are influenced by it today.

Join in on the convo right here and share your thoughts — are we overmedicating our youth? What has your experience been like? https://turningpointct.org/lets-talk/topic/podcast-medication/