Winter 2017

Giving Back After Decades of Service to Bridges

It was with mixed emotions and very fond wishes that the Bridges "family" honored the recent retirement of two senior staff members, Kathy Sheehan, CFO and Terri Eblen, CCO. Kathy and Terri each have been with Bridges for over two decades, during which time  their unwavering commitment to our mission, as well as countless contributions fostered the growth and success of the organization. 

In addition to their exceptional work as staff members, Kathy and Terri were most generous in giving back to Bridges over the years, supporting numerous events and fundraising campaigns. Terri participated in Bridges’ Folks on Spokes cycling fundraiser since its start 25 years ago. This past year, Terri decided to go an extra mile to raise and match pledge funds for her ride. Kathy then took it a very generous step further, committing to match the total raised by Terri with her own donation. As a result, Bridges is the grateful recipient of $3,480 from these special women, who continue to support our work and our clients, and the sustainability of the organization.

Kathy and Terri were honored by Bridges’ Board and Staff with celebratory luncheons and with a musical tribute, which included the songs Goodbye Kathy (“Hello Dolly”) and My Terri Amour (“My Cheri Amour”), each re-written with relevant words and performed by Bridges’ CEO Barbara DiMauro.

We wish all the best to Kathy and Terri!

Left to Right: Kathy Sheehan, CFO, Barbara DiMauro, President & CEO, Terri Eblen, CCO

 

Building a Healthy Community


Health tips from BHH!
 
February is National Heart Month


 
- Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the U.S
- Each year, 785,000 Americans will have their first heart attack
- Lowering will blood pressure may decrease your risks of a stroke or heart attack by 50%
- Know your numbers, know the signs!

How to keep your heart healthy!
- Exercise at least 30 mins, 5 days a week
- Limit salt, saturated and trans fat
- Maintain a normal body weight
- Avoid smoking and recreational drugs

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.


Have you already taken a class?

To help ensure that the lessons learned in Mental Health First Aid last a lifetime, Mental Health First Aiders who have taken the 8-hour Adult Mental Health First Aid course three or more years ago should re-certify to stay up-to-date on the latest information about mental health and substance use disorders, and how to offer help to people who may need it.

Next Mental Health First Aid class
March 10, 2017 | 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Parsons Government Complex, Milford

Click HERE to register! 

 

Happenings at Bridges

Bridges Responds to the Opioid Crisis

The opioid epidemic has become both a national issue and a local concern. In 2013, there were 582 deaths in CT due to drug overdose.  In 2014, that number increased to 623, and continues to rise. Statistics indicate that this problem is impacting our local community, and we see evidence in our work here at Bridges, as we counsel and treat clients, family members and others in the community whose lives are devastated by drug misuse and addiction.  

Bridges has taken many steps to combat this growing problem.  All of our psychiatrists and APRN’s monitor our clients’ prescriptions on a state-wide database to ensure there is safe prescribing practice and no lethal interactions of medications.  We collaborate with each clients’ treatment providers to maintain a comprehensive approach to their care. Narcan is available in our on-site pharmacy and each of our clinicians are trained in its use to reverse the effects of drug overdose.

We ensure our staff is up to date and utilizing the latest in evidence-based treatments for the alcohol and drug use disorders.  One of these treatments is Motivational Interviewing, which is a person-centered, non-judgmental, and non-confrontational stance in interacting with people to help them see what might be gained through change.All Bridges' staff are completing a two -day training on Motivational Interviewing, We  know that all of our staff, clinical and support, have a responsibility to understand the dynamics of addictions and the role we have in facilitating recovery. 

Through outreach efforts, Bridges has been raising awareness in our community and we will continue to explore ways we can work together to solve this problem. We are planning two informational sessions to take place this Spring. Please watch bridgesct.org for more information in the coming weeks.

 

YOUNG PARENT PROGRAM (YPP)

Bridges’ Young Parent Program (YPP) aims to educate, inform and support teens and young adults through the years of sexual development, in order to prevent teen pregnancy, prevent the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases, encourage healthy relationships and pro-social activities, and improve chances of success for pregnant and parenting teens and young adults.

Prevention and outreach initiatives take place at the three Milford High Schools, including Platt Technical High School, where YPP staff hold one-on-meetings with students referred by school personnel or walk-ins, to listen and answer whatever questions they may have. In 2016, our program social worker co-facilitated 36 health education classes in Milford High Schools and one middle school delivering the curriculum on pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted diseases reaching 436 students.

YPP helps teens and young adults gain an understanding of sexual health and development, healthy relationships, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and family planning, and encourages and supports young adults to complete their education or vocational training, so they can create a vision for their future, with more options and avenues for productive and successful lives available to them.