'Fairfield Collaborative for Youth Mental Health' aims to improve students' mental health

Fairfield Public Schools, along with the social services and police departments, teamed up for the initiative.

Sep 18, 2023, 4:56 PM

Updated 216 days ago

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The Town of Fairfield has launched the “Fairfield Collaborative for Youth Mental Health” to help improve students' mental health.
"We were already on this trend, but COVID seemed to rapidly excel the anxiety and depression we're seeing in our students," said Maureen Sullivan, the Fairfield Public Schools student services and mental health program director.
Fairfield Public Schools, along with the social services and police departments, teamed up for the initiative.
“It got me thinking, how do we swim upstream? How do we deal with things before the families feel like their last resort is calling the police," said Jessica Bloomberg, a social worker for the Fairfield Police Department.
"In social services, we see families coming in who are struggling with their basic needs. They're not coming to us for mental health services," said Julie DeMarco, the Human and Social Services director. "So to know that I have partners and teammates looking for those concerns is a relief for me as a resident and an employee."
The collaborative will host a parent forum each month. Next month's topic is substance abuse.
"Often students at the middle and high school levels will turn to substances to self-medicate," Sullivan said.
Other topics will include eating disorders and social media. Therapists, psychologists and social workers will lead the discussions.
"We're really hoping that this initiative grows and we can loop in some more services for our parents," Sullivan added.
The next forum will take place on Oct. 11 at Fairfield Warde High School from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.


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