Government, school and community leaders are working
together to form a Community For
Care Committee, a multi-faceted approach to educating the public on mental
health and substance abuse issues.
The committee is a volunteer effort in which representatives from of the town, school
system, local clergy and others that will discuss issues, coordinate and publicize existing programs and more.
“By having all the players there at one time we can share our resources,” Pastor Woody Eddins, of Simsbury United Methodist Church, said at Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting.
Eddins has agreed to help coordinate the effort, which includes representatives such as the police chief, director of social services, school principals and more.
Officials said the town would also seek some parental representation.
The effort is largely based on Canton’s Community of Concern but Simsbury has expanded the scope to include mental health.
The group will not be directly counseling students but
rather help coordinate effort and educate the public on what services are available, officials said.
Eddins said he has conducted two funerals from deaths that were caused by overdoses. Too often families aren’t aware of the many resources available and discussing issues and ways to help try and prevent such tragedies is important he said.
“Answers are certainly not easy to come by,” he said.
The committee is a volunteer effort and at this point does
not involve any funding, town officials said.
They also emphasized that it does not involve treatment or
“This board will not be giving treatment to individuals,”
selectman Lisa Heavner said. “It will be sharing resources.”