“Take Care of Yourself” Mental Health Programming Grant received by Avon Library & Avon Senior Center

January 9, 2019 – Avon, CT.  The Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center is pleased to announce they have been selected to receive a All of Us Research Program Community Engagement Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.  The $12,500 award is designated for a year-long series to explore 10 key concepts in mental health and wellness, including programs for the public and sessions for Town of Avon employees. The series will offer individual speakers, virtual reality demonstrations, panel discussions, and add new books and resources to the library’s circulating collection.

The “Take Care of Yourself” series is the brainchild of Tina Panik, Reference & Adult Services Manager at Avon Public Library, and Jennifer Bennett, Avon Senior Center Coordinator.  “We’re honored to use this prestigious grant funding to connect with our community and staff on mental health topics that impact their lives,” said Ms. Panik. “This series is about learning to help each other and ourselves.”  Ms. Bennett adds “Avon Senior Center is pleased to be collaborating with the Avon Public Library on this esteemed series with funding from National Institute of Health.  We want to bring the conversation of helping, both ourselves and each other to light and give people important and necessary information on mental health.  We are working with professionals in the field of mental health and care and we’re proud to receive this funding to bring the programs to the Avon community.

Recognizing that mental health & wellness is important to every stage of life, the series will cover an inclusive array of topics focusing on Mental Health 101, Depression, Memory Loss (including a virtual reality dementia tour), Hoarding, Positive Body Image, Grief, Substance Abuse, Sexuality, PTSD, and the legal aspects of Conservatorship.  The goal of each program is to define the condition, describe it, and then discuss care and support with member of the audience.  The Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center will partner with the Farmington Valley Visiting Nurse Association and Farmington Valley Health District for this community project.

The first program in the series, “How to recognize and interact with people who have mental health conditions,” will be held on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 6:30 pm (Snow date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019, same time) in the Avon Library Community Room, 281 Country Club Rd., Avon, CT 06001.  This workshop will be led by Richard Fisher, LCSW, Director, DMHAS Office of Workforce Development.  Mr. Fisher will discuss how to successfully interact with those suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and those on the autism spectrum.  The program is free, open to all members of the public, and no registration is required.

Please check the Avon Public Library’s website for upcoming “Take Care of Yourself” programs.  For questions or more information, please contact:

Tina Panik
Avon Free Public Library
Email: tpanik@avonctlibrary.info,  Phone: 860-673-9712 ext. 235

Jennifer Bennett, LMSW
Avon Senior Center
Email: jbennett@avonct.gov, Phone: 860-675-4355