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Mental Health, Opioid Addiction to Be Year-Long Discussion in Canton

January 25, 2017 Community, Health No Comments

Jennifer C. Kertanis, director of Farmington Valley Health District, speaks at the annual town meeting.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts 

CANTON – When one is struggling with mental health or addiction, it is often kept quiet. 

Family members often don’t talk of it and neighbors and friends, if they are even aware, hesitate to bring it up. 

But those leading a recent discussion on mental wellness and the opioid epidemic had a surprising suggestion. If you know someone going through such a struggle, break the ice by bringing the family a casserole, just as you would for a cancer patient. 

“Addiction thrives in isolation and we know that connectedness extinguishes it,” said Maria Coutant Skinner, Canton resident and executive director of the Torrington-based McCall Center for Behavioral Health. 

Skinner, along with Jennifer C. Kertanis, director of Farmington Valley Health District, and Claire Cote, Director of Canton’s Senior and Social Services Department, presented the talk and slideshow on the topic at Canton’s recent annual town meeting. It was just the first in a series of actions in a year-long mental wellness campaign. 

On March 9, the task force will delve deeper into the topic and offer suggestions on abuse, tips on early warning signs and the personal story of a Connecticut family affected by addiction. It takes place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Canton Community Center, 40 Dyer Ave., Canton. 

Please see more in this week’s edition of The Valley Press

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