“More Dreams-Less Drugs!” A Community Forum

“More Dreams-Less Drugs!” A Community Forum
Thursday, April 24. 7:00-9:00pm
Rockingham Free Public Library
65 Westiminster St.
Bellows Falls, VT

Join us April 24 for a timely discussion on how we respond as a community to substance abuse and addiction, specifically, opioids. Moderated by Mike Smith, the evening will be broken up into two parts: understanding what is happening locally and what we can do about it. A panel discussion will include the following individuals:

Share and invite family, friends, parents, youth, co-workers. All are welcome. Light food will be served.

RSVP to the Facebook event HERE and share as many times as humanly possible!

For more information, contact Chad Simmons or call 802.463.9927 ext 210.

March Coalition Gathering

March Coalition Gathering
Friday, March 21. Noon-1:30pm
Parks Place
44 School St.
Bellows Falls

Join us for yummy food and an engaging discussion about substances and the media. We’ll pick apart how advertising and marketing is used to encourage the consumption of substances and how we can understand these messages. We’ll also have some time to share upcoming community events and activities coming up in March and April.

A.C.E. Brings Sunshine to Greater Falls

As I sit next to the window, soaking in as much sunshine as humanly possible (finally, yes!), I’m struck with how much sunshine we’ve got right here in our community. Cheesy analogy, sure, but it needs to be said from time to time. I’ll own the cheese.

Last week, Greater Falls Connections announced our second A.C.E. Award recipient. What’s A.C.E. you ask? In an effort to recognize the inspired, positive action happening every day, we created the Active Community Engagement (A.C.E.) Award. A.C.E. recipients are the unsung heroes within our community who foster positive change and are dedicated to creating safe, healthy and fun options for youth, families and the community at large.

Makes sense, right? So who’s our March A.C.E.? Congratulations goes to Sam Maskell, Youth Services Librarian for the Rockingham Free Public Library (RFPL). 

Deb Witkus (left) presenting Sam Maskell (right) the A.C.E. Award.

Deb Witkus (left) presenting Sam Maskell (right) the A.C.E. Award.

Sam started as a part-time assistant in 2001. As the Youth Services Librarian, her role is to support youth from birth through adult-transitioning become curious, engaged members of the community. Sam oversees the Youth Department programs, which fosters creativity and leadership. The Teen Advisory Council meets monthly and plans various activities and programs at the library. Programs include: an annual lock-in, Teen Tech Week, “Magic” tournaments and Teen Tabletop Game Nights. Sam sees libraries as “community centers” and “moving from passive to proactive” institutions within communities. In addition to making sure the collection of youth books are “fun and inspire learning,” Sam is determined to making sure “information is available anywhere” by maintaining an active web, social media and instant message presence.

“Sam is committed to providing a safe, welcoming and judgment-free environment for our young people. She is generous, creative and has a huge amount of integrity,” says Deb Witkus, Parent Outreach Coordinator.

Sam’s passion and love for the library is unwavering. But it is her commitment to youth and the community that make her an A.C.E. Congrats to Sam Maskell and the entire Rockingham Free Public Library.

Stay sunny Greater Falls!
The ChadderBox

Intro to Mental Illness & Recovery

Intro to Mental Illness & Recovery: 1-day Workshop
Saturday, March 15. 9:00am-4:00pm
“The Meeting House”
Springfield Hospital
Ridgewood Rd.
Springfield, VT

One-day workshop focusing on:

  • Some basic facts about the incidence of mental illness worldwide;
  • How families and peers cope, including some of the emotional reactions people often have when they or someone they love has a mental illness;
  • How mental health professionals diagnose mental illness:
  • Diagnostic criteria for 7 illnesses, including bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and dual diagnosis;
  • Evidence based practices for treatment of borderline personality disorder and dual diagnosis;
  • The power of lack of insight and stigma to prevent people from getting the help they need;
  • Components of recovery, including what recovery is and isn’t, and definitions of what recovery means;
  • Services available in Vermont, including the evidence based practices for treating illnesses, wellness management and recovery, medication management, and supported employment;
  • Suggestions on how people can cope with mental illness, especially when there is lack of insight;
  • Practical advice from families, including how to prevent a crisis;
  • Some suggested next steps that you may find helpful

Register by calling 800.639.6480 or emailing: program@namivt.org. Space is limited.

Sponsored by NAMI Vermont. NAMI Vermont is the state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Through the dedicated efforts of grassroots leaders, NAMI focuses on three cornerstones of activity: Support, Education, and Advocacy.

A Time & A Place Monthly Brunch

A Time & A Place Monthly Brunch
Saturday, April 19. 10:00am-Noon
Parks Place
44 School St.
Bellows Falls

Monthly brunch starts Saturday April 19th.
For kinship, adoptive, and fostering families to share, laugh, and connect.

For more information, contact Deb Witkus, Parent Outreach Coordinator, at 802.463.9927 ext 212 or deb@greaterfallsconnections.org.

Sponsored by Greater Falls Connections