To the Editor:

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there has never been a better time to focus on our mental health. Our lives have been disrupted by COVID-19, social distancing, and unprecedented economic challenges. Many of us may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression for the first time. If you or a loved one are struggling with recent events, there are a number of local, state, and national mental health resources available to Darien residents.

The Darien town website (http://www.darienct.gov/news/?FeedID=649) has an extensive list of mental health resources in the area. In addition, The Hub CT (https://www.thehubct.org/home) is a wealth of information about behavioral health resources (mental health, suicide, substance misuse, and problem gambling) in our area.

The National Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) 1-800-985-5990 is a free 24/7 hotline for people struggling emotionally as the result of natural or human-made catastrophe. Support is also available by texting “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

While the Department of Human Services does not provide therapy to individuals, we are available to parents and families by telephone or email to provide supportive counseling and referrals to necessary services and resources. All information is held strictly confidential. Our department can be reached at 203-656-7328 or email at aramsteck@darienct.gov. Now, more than ever, we understand the struggle that mental illness can bring. We are here to help.

Ali Ramsteck, LCSW

Director of Darien Human Services