First Selectman Jayme Stevenson has initiated a mental wellness video series that is being broadcasted and archived on Darien’s TV 79, citing her “concerns for the social and emotional toll the Covid-19 crisis is having on us all.”

The project is a three-way collaboration between DAF Media, The Darien Foundation, and TV79.

“We are all overwhelmed with ‘information’ on the virus but I’ve seen little in the way of supports for how the lack of human connection, quarantines, isolation, and the fear of illness and even death are affecting us,” Stevenson said.

“I reached out to my friends and colleagues Ingrid Gillespie, director of Communities 4 Action and Maud Purcell, founder and executive director for the Life Solution Center who immediately agreed to help me with my idea,” she said.

Stevenson said the idea was to ask both public and private sector mental health professionals, clergy and representatives of other service provider organizations to share their expertise on how to cope and thrive in this unusual environment.

“The outpouring of support was immediate,” she said.

“Fourteen incredible professionals stepped up to the plate and their videos are now available on the Town of Darien website, on demand through our TV79 platform,” Stevenson said.

The topics include advice for healthcare professionals, learning to thrive at home for teens and college students, transforming obstacles into opportunity, family mental health, what to say to your children about the coronvirus, a Spanish language video to support toddlers and preschoolers, support for seniors, and more.

The contributors include:

— Steven Boksenbaum, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist

— Rabbi Daniel Cohen, senior rabbi, Congregation Agudath, Sholom

— Maud Purcell, MSW, LCSW, CEAP

— Matthew Love, Psy.D.

— Stephanie Paulmeno, president, Connecticut Nurses Association, did two videos

— Rev. Gary M. Morello

— Kim O’Rielly, young adult resource manager

— Lisa Gardner, MSW, LCSW

— John Hamilton, President & CEO of Liberation Programs

— Father Chris Perrella, St. John Church

— Chelsea McGee, Family Centers, Center for Hope

— Barbara McLaughlin, manager of early childhood and volunteers, Kids in Crisis

— Georgette Harrison, director of clinical and community partnerships, Child Guidance Center of Southern CT

“TV79 is so grateful to Jayme Stevenson, DAF Media and all the experts who contributed their talents to this series. We are proud to be airing these mental health tips on our cable programming and Vimeo channel. I hope our viewers find the advice helpful and reassuring that we will get through this, together,” said Jim Cameron, Darien TV 79’s program director.

“I’m sharing them with the ten towns in the Area Nine Cable Council (where I serve as vice chairman), so other government and educational channels can also air them,” Cameron said.

Stevenson said the series couldn’t have been put together without the support and technical assistance of the Darien Athletic Foundation’s DAF Media and the town’s TV79 board and staff.

“My hope is that these brief messages give hope and inspiration to everyone who watches and provides additional information on where to get more help if needed,” Stevenson said.

All the videos can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/manage/folders/1725642/, and are also available on TV 79’s Facebook and YouTube channel.

For more information on the Darien Foundation, visit here.

For more information on DAF Media, visit here.