Wellness in the Park, a mental health awareness fair, will be held May 19 from 5-8 p.m. at Coe Memorial Park on Litchfield Street, Torrington. Pictured is the Coe Memorial Park Civic Center, where some of the fair’s events will take place.
TORRINGTON — People in need of mental health services often may be reluctant to seek help, or in some cases unable to find the help they need, local advocates say.
Raising awareness of mental health needs and the help that is available is key, they say, and a health fair aims to do that and more.
Wellness in the Park, a mental health awareness fair, will be held from 5-8 p.m. May 19 at Coe Memorial Park on Litchfield Street.
The event, which is being hosted by Prime Time House, is intended “to promote awareness, reduce stigma and encourage programs and practices that improve mind, body and overall mental well-being,” said Executive Director Christina Emery.
Emery said she wanted to have an event to bring together people from the community, realizing they may be in need of help but haven’t been able to ask for it — or find it.
“People are struggling,” she said. “It’s been a long two-and-a-half years since the pandemic began, and people are looking for resources; we wanted to provide that for folks. It’s also a fun way to get them together and meet providers in the area.”
For some, asking for help may be difficult. “People may not want to reach out and ask for help, and having this event available to them in a way that’s friendly and accessible,” Emery said. “Mental health resources should be inclusive. That’s why we’re having this public event at Coe Park.”
Christy Tellier, who handles community outreach at Prime Time House, said the wellness fair started out as a leadership project with the Northwest CT Chamber of Commerce.
“Because of the pandemic, it didn’t take off,” she said. “So this year, we’ve worked on getting a large variety of ways to focus on wellness. We’ll also have many mental health providers there.”
Participating organizations include Five Points Arts, the Northwest CT Arts Council, a yoga and mindfulness instructor, KidsPlay Children’s Museum and the Torrington Trails Network.
The state Department of Public Health will offer a vaccination clinic, and Friendly Hands Food Bank and FISH also will be represented at the fair. Representatives from Torrington will be on site to talk about new recycling rules and procedures for disposing of waste,
“The city will talk about keeping our community beautiful, which helps our well-being,” Tellier said.
The mental health community will be represented by the Western CT Mental Health Network, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, the McCall Foundation, Community Health & Wellness of Greater Torrington, New Opportunities and Mental Health Connecticut. Visitors can connect with local resources including counseling, and treatment for mental health and substance abuse.
“We hope it will attract people of all ages,” Emery said. “There will also be an opportunity for people to speak out, and share their own experiences with mental wellness.”
DJ Jacque Williams will provide music, and a public art program will be among the evening’s events, Emery said.
“We’re glad to see the event continue,” she said. “When we did it in 2019, it was supposed to continue, and hopefully we can get back on track now.”
For information on Wellness in the Park, email email@example.com or call 860-612-8983.
Emily M. Olson is the community editor for the Torrington Register Citizen, the New Haven Register and the Middletown Press.
She is a 1997 graduate of Western Connecticut State University with a degree in English and a minor in journalism.
She started her career at the Patent Trader newspaper in Westchester County, NY in 1998. After a brief period as a reporter with the Register Citizen in Torrington in 1999, she joined the former Housatonic Publications group as a reporter. She was managing editor of the former Litchfield Enquirer and helped run the weekly newspapers at Housatonic and the Litchfield County Times. She returned to the Register Citizen in 2009.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort