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Mental Health Awareness 2021

Mental Health Awareness 2021

There are always going to be things in life that are out of our control, but what we can do is focus on the things that are within our ability to change. That is why, throughout Mental Health Awareness month, CMHA focused on #Hope, #Resilience, #Growth, and #Recovery. As part of this, we made sure to plan a variety of little activities and events for staff, clients, and our community!
 
Early on in May, our Waterbury offices hosted a Virtual Game Night for children and their families. Parents and Guardians were welcome to stay for a special session at the end which focused on addressing their own needs, the importance of self-care, and how to practice mindfulness with their kids. 
 Compliments Table
In New Britain, CMHA Ambassadors helped run a pop-up "Compliments Table" outside the agency's 233 Main Street headquarters to spread some positivity and kindness. Staff gave out motivational stickers, agency information, and 'free' compliments to people walking in the downtown - and even received some in return! 
 
"This is amazing - I love seeing you all out here in the downtown, it's really meaningful and just wonderful!"
 
Members of the Team Time Social Club helped us get into the spirit of Mental Health Awareness month by designing and painting a wonderful canvas that is up in the display windows of 233 Main Street. Their messages and illustrations on Hope, Recovery, and Wellness are truly a one-of-a-kind piece, and we look forward to displaying their project permanently at the Team TIme Social Club!
 
We also made sure to show our appreciation for the true heroes at CMHA - our dedicated, compassionate staff! All Residential locations received gift baskets, put together by the Events Committee, which included all sorts of snacks, candy, gourmet tea and coffee from local shops, as well as gift cards for individual staff, across shifts to treat themselves. 
 
Every location at CMHA was also surprised with a visit from the Ice Cream truck! A special thanks to CMHA staff member Travone Franklin, Residential Monitor and his wife Jennifer for helping to coordinate these visits and give all our staff a nice, cool  treat!
 
Overall, we're very grateful for the numerous individuals that helped to coordinate the special events and surprises we held for Mental Health Awareness month. Every day, our staff go above and beyond to make sure that those individuals in need of our services receive the quality care they deserve, and the least we can do is give our thanks and show our appreciation! 
 
 Shark with Ice Cream Truck at Russells
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Spott Unlimited & CMHA Join Forces

The Spott Unlimited & CMHA Join Forces

CMHA is proud to announce a new collaboration with The Spott Unlimited, Inc. (The Spott) to provide Recovery Support Services for Greater New Britain residents struggling with behavioral health or substance use disorders.

The Spott Unlimited, Inc. is a nonprofit recovery-based service operating out of The Spottswood African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in New Britain. This community-oriented collaboration will include the placement of 8-10 Recovery Assistants at The Spott. Trained in community trauma response and suicide prevention by the New Britain EMS Citizens Academy and Amplify’s Congregational Assistance Program (CAP), the Recovery Assistants will be overseen by a Certified Recovery Coach who is already part of The Spott Unlimited community.

Together, they will provide individuals at The Spott with one-on-one support and linkages to services and resources such as housing, clothing, toiletries, and food. The Recovery Coach and Assistants will connect individuals to outpatient or inpatient care for their substance use or behavioral health concerns, with CMHA available to conduct assessments and accept referrals if needed. As always, any individual ready to begin their path to Recovery is welcome at CMHA.

Describing the church’s mission and sense of purpose, Reverend Samuel C. Blanks said “It’s a matter of heart for us, the people who’ve been working in the trenches. We can reach people where they are, we’ve got the approach for it, and we can serve the community in a way that is needed, but not always addressed.”

Dr. Marie M. Spivey and Michele Stewart Copes of System for Education, Equity, & Transition (SEET LLC), have partnered with CMHA on several previous initiatives and will provide oversight, clinical supervision, and administrative reporting for this innovative project.
 
“I don’t believe anyone else is doing this,” said Stewart Copes, “I really think what we are doing here in New Britain, [partnering with faith-based organizations], is groundbreaking.”
 
To learn more about CMHA's services, from therapy and support groups to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), please contact the agency at 860.224.8192 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

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CMHA in the Community: Celebrating the Season

Carols for our Community was planned as a way to help bring some holiday cheer and joy to our community, and it just may be a new tradition!

CMHA was pleased to sponsor the three-part, free-to-all event series, and even hosted the first virtual show at our 233 Main Street headquarters against a backdrop of holiday decorations and Christmas lights.

Hundreds of people tuned into the live performance, expressing their appreciation at having something to look forward to and enjoy at home with their families. This video is still on CMHA's Facebook and is sure to bring a smile to your face if needed!

The second performance took place at The New Britain Downtown District at 66 W. Main Street on December 19th. That live Facebook performance can be found on their page: @NewBritainDowntownDistrict.

The final performance of Carols for our Community was held in conjunction with The Longest Night Vigil in Central Park on December 21st in memory of those lost to homelessness this past year. A moving, solo rendition of Silent Night was sung for the small group holding the vigil and brought to people live through the Friendship Service Center's Facebook page.
 
CMHA is glad to have helped make this event a success, and we hope to do more, similar events which will help uplift and brighten our community.
 

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The Valuing Diversity Committee

On what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King's 92nd Birthday, CMHA's Valuing Diversity Committee hosted its first-ever Diversity Discussion, welcoming staff from across the agency to participate and share "What MLK Day Means to Me."

With a variety of participants, from one who recalls the first time they saw the Civil Rights Leader on television as a child to another who speaks of seeing MLK's global impact first hand, this discussion brought together multiple perspectives all while underscoring Dr. King's lasting impact across generations.

CMHA looks forward to sharing more of these conversations with you and seeing how together we can continuously strive to make this a better world for all. Watch the full discussion here on YouTube.

Later in February, CMHA's Valuing Diversity Committee shared the following message with our staff, clients, and supporters at the start of the month: "As an organization, we are proud to continue the celebration and recognition of Black History in our country. We often say that our culture is a differentiating factor that contributes to our success and makes CMHA unique. One key piece of our culture is our commitment to creating an inclusive environment..."

In honor of Black History Month, the Diversity Committee invited employees to share their personal stories to help others understand what this month represents, as well as the vital importance of inclusivity. The results were a staff-led educational and creative display on both social media and in the windows of our 233 Main Street, New Britain headquarters.
 
Additionally, The Waterbury Spirit Committee from our 255 Bank Street offices hosted a "Coffee & Vibe" zoom event for staff across the agency to share and discuss poetry, literature, and other forms of creative expression by African Americans and Black artists. From Langston Hughes' Let America Be America Again to an interview of Angela Davis discussing Civil Rights, the discussion covered many topics related to Race, Identity, Intersectionality, and the need to self-educate.
Overall, the takeaways from these events and initiatives were the same: Black History is American History, and it needs to be celebrated beyond the 28 days of February.

CMHA's Annual Meeting: A Year Like No Other

Despite facing never-before-seen challenges, this years' Annual Meeting at CMHA was a literal - and virtual - success.

While most people joined CMHA from their home or office screens, we did have a few guests and employees in various, socially-distanced 'watch party' rooms throughout 233 Main Street in New Britain.

Several friends and community partners sent in 'shout outs' to be played during the meeting to express their appreciation and admiration for CMHA's staff, including: State Senator Gennaro Bizzarro, New Britain PRIDE Chair John Board, Friendship Service Center Board President Sharon Chamberlain, and American Savings Foundation President & CEO Maria A. Falvo.

After hearing from our friends and supporters, everyone watching the Annual Meeting was treated to a wonderful video highlighting the great achievements of the agency over the past year as told by CMHA staff and supporters. Produced with Ehardt Media, the video encapsulates what makes our agency special - the people who prove themselves to be More Than Heroes every day.

Another highlight of the evening was the announcement of the 2020 Chairman's Award. Board Chair Todd DeGroff announced, "The list of those who’ve gone above and beyond goes on and on. We are so very proud of all of you, and of what you have accomplished together. And that’s why the 2020 Chairman’s Award goes to ALL OF YOU."

Every CMHA employee is more than deserving of this award, as they've proven themselves to be More Than Heroes time and time again. CMHA is thrilled to be able to show our appreciation with a $50 gift card to every CMHA employee in recognition of all they've accomplished..

Overall, this was nothing if not an unpredictable year, to say the least. Like every organization, we were confronted with the most extraordinary challenges in taking on this pandemic. Unlike any other organization though, CMHA rose to the challenge and achieved spectacular results. To learn more about how we did it, for the reasons are too many to put here, please read this years' Annual Report

 

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