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

Program list and grant details enclosed!  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.

Read the June 2019 profile on this project in Library Journal

More details on these programs soon:

Program #8 Trauma Informed Communities
September 14, 2019, 10.30 am, Avon Free Public Library

Justine Ginsberg, R.N., will teach us about the following:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s)
  • How trauma affects the brain
  • Trauma Informed Communities – what does this mean?
  • What are the components of trauma informed communities and how can we all play a role

A BSN and a Registered Nurse with experience in both Intensive Care and Pediatrics in Australia, Justine has extensive experience working as a health educator in Australia and Europe and in health program development, successfully developing and implementing educational programs internationally and for the FVHD. She has worked in emergency preparedness for the Australian Federal Police and for the Australian Embassy in Belgrade. She is the Community Health Coordinator for the Farmington Valley health District and is responsible for the implementation and  program development of health outreach, training and evaluation.  Justine is the project lead for Resilience Grows Here and passionately believes that the destigmatizing of mental health is vital to the well-being of a community.

Positive Body Image
September 26, 2019, 6:30 pm
Avon Free Public Library

When a child comes out: support for families
October 9, 2019, 6:30 pm
Avon Free Public Library

The opioid epidemic: where are now?
Saturday, October 12, 2019, 11:00 am
Avon Free Public Library

PTSD/TBI and communities
October 28, 2019, 6:30 pm
Avon Free Public Library

Transgender 101
Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 6:30 pm
Avon Free Public Library


Completed programs:

Program #1, How to recognize and interact with people who have mental health conditions

Snow date invoked. This program will be held Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 6:30 pm

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.

Program #2, Find your oasis in the overwhelm:  60-second Sanity Strategies with Millie Grenough

Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6:30-8:00 pm

Avon Library Community Room, 281 Country Club Rd., Avon, CT 06001

Looking for calm in the chaos? Don’t have time to get yourself on track? These 60-second strategies will help you take control, be healthier and happier, at work and at home. Millie Grenough is a coach, author of ten books, Motivational Speaker, and Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, Millie coaches people in all walks of life from CEOs to harried parents and imparts her strategies in workshops, lectures and individual sessions internationally. Millie’s books and materials will be for sale at this event.

Program #3, How to recognize depression: am I feeling blue or is it something more?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 6:30 pm

Avon Senior Center, 635 West Avon Rd., Avon, CT 06001

 Nancy A. Scheetz, Executive Director, Farmington Valley VNA, Inc., will present on

how to recognize when the feelings you have are normal, every day down in the dumps, verses something that you may need to do more to correct.  It will be an informational session to ease people’s minds regarding how to know what levels of mood changes are, how they come about, what to do to help them correct themselves and when to reach out for more help.  This session will include a brief conversation on medications, including how to monitor if they are getting the desired effect.  It is very normal to have mood changes in life, especially when aging, but treatable depression is not a normal part of aging and it should not go untreated.

Program #4, Everything you need to know about hoarding

Thursday, May 16, 2019,  6:30-8:00 PM

Avon Senior Center, 635 West Avon Rd., Avon, CT 06001

David Tolin, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living, and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.  He is the author of over 150 scientific journal articles, as well as several books including Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding. His research is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health.  Dr. Tolin has been featured in television shows such as Hoarders, The OCD Project, The Dr. Oz Show, and  The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Program #5, Dementia: what you need to know

Tuesday, June 25, 2019,  6:30-8:00 PM

Avon Senior Center, 635 West Avon Rd., Avon, CT 06001

Presented by Amina Weiland, CDP, CDCP, certified dementia practitioner and resource coordinator, Hartford Healthcare Center for Healthy Aging.

Did you know there are 62 kinds of dementia? Alzheimer’s is just one type. This presentation will define dementia, identify the warning signs, explain why it is not part of normal aging, share communication techniques, and define what encompasses Alzheimer’s.  Caregivers are encouraged to attend this presentation.

Program #6, Mindfulness for Skeptics

Thursday, August 8, 2019,  6:30-8:00 PM

Avon Senior Center, 635 West Avon Rd., Avon, CT 06001

This session, led by Amanda Votto of Copper Beech Institute, will

  • Discuss how we are affected by stressors
  • Clarify what mindfulness is and explore the benefits.
  • Learn about the science and application of mindfulness
  • Experience multiple approaches to practice mindful pausing

Copper Beech Institute teaches mindfulness practice and contemplative wisdom to inspire purposeful living, awaken our full potential for compassionate action, and encourage a healing shift in how we relate to one another and our interconnected world. We build communities of practice and offer people of all backgrounds transformative learning opportunities on and off our campus, on-line, and through outreach among vulnerable communities.


For questions or more information, please contact:

Tina Panik, Reference & Adult Services Manager
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