Mental Health

Mental Health issues are reaching the crisis point across the country. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), in 2020, 1 in 5 adults experienced a mental illness and 26.3 million adults received mental health services that same year. Children and young adults, who dealt with unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, mirrored those statistics, with 1 in 5 reporting the pandemic significantly affected their mental health, and a frightening 3.8 million – only those reported - had serious thoughts of suicide.

The Town of Simsbury takes the mental health of its residents of all ages seriously. As much as the town works to provide opportunities for physical health through our parks, trails and recreational facilities, Continuing Education, Senior Center, and Culture, Parks and Recreation Department classes and activities, it’s equally important to ensure the Town provide services to support mental health. Mental health issues are too often a “silent epidemic,” with stigma attached to getting help, non-diagnosis, and/or services not being available. We are fortunate in Simsbury to have a number of practicing mental health professionals, and the Town recognizes the importance of providing support, particularly for our vulnerable young people and seniors, with both groups being disproportionately affected on a national basis.

While I was First Selectman, and as I continue on the Board of Selectman, Simsbury is providing services and actively recognizing the need for mental health support so no one feels alone. I am committed to funding and providing needed professionals and programs for town residents.

  • In 2018, Simsbury hired a full-time social worker to provide necessary services for residents. 
  • The recently-passed 2022/2023 budget includes another social worker position for the town, bringing the total to two.  The budget also included two additional social workers for the schools, ensuring each school has a dedicated social worker. The town social workers will also partner with the police
  • I have supported the work of Community for Care, which brings town and school officials together to problem solve around issues of mental health and substance abuse in the community.
  • While First Selectman, I supported partnering with the not-for-profit A Promise to Jordan, and under my leadership, the Board of Selectmen declared Simsbury a Recovery-Friendly Community.

As Simsbury’s State Representative, I will support:

  • Continuing to invest in children’s mental health, behavioral and developmental health. Sweeping mental health legislation that passed with wide bipartisan support this year. The legislation was aimed at attracting more school psychologists, expanding mental health services, offering education grants, and supporting mobile mental health clinics. We need to continue to expand this kind of legislation and programs for the benefit of Connecticut’s citizens.  
  • Paying mental health providers on par with other providers.  We have a significant shortage in mental health providers in Connecticut. We know many psychologists are not taking insurance because reimbursements are pitifully low. Equitable pay for mental health providers will: 1) attract people to the profession, and 2) encourage providers to take health insurance.