New state commissioner shares vision for CT’s mental health system

Members of the mental health community filled Norwalk City Hall’s Community Room on Wednesday to meet the state’s new Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.

Dr. Delphin-Rittmon was the featured speaker at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Southwest Regional Mental Health Board (SWRMHB), a Norwalk-based nonprofit representing the 14 municipalities of southwest CT. The Commissioner shared her vision for Connecticut’s public mental health system, which is considered a leader nationally. She highlighted the issues of equity, integration, peer supports, and a holistic approach, themes which resonated deeply with the audience.

More than 120 guests included State Representatives Jonathan Steinberg (Westport), Fred Wilms (Darien and New Canaan), and Terrie Wood (Darien), along with advocates, individuals living with mental illness, their families, and mental health professionals from area hospitals, clinics, universities and non-profit organizations.

At the event, the Southwest Regional Mental Health Board honored Bridge House in Bridgeport for their outstanding advocacy by and for people with mental illness and their unwavering support of the Southwest Regional Mental Health Board and the mental health community. The Greenwich Department of Social Services and its Commissioner Dr. Alan Barry were recognized for their efforts to raise awareness of mental health and challenge address the stigma of mental illness.

The meeting was also a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Regional Mental Health Board system, established in 1975 by the state legislature to provide the community with a voice in mental health. Speakers included Dr. Jessica Wolf, a former Executive Director and one of the creators of the visionary citizen-based system, and Louis Schulman of Norwalk, a Board member for some 35 years.

The Southwest Regional Mental Health Board (SWRMHB) is a nonprofit community advisory council dedicated to ensuring a high-quality mental health system that promotes recovery and wellbeing for the residents of southwestern Connecticut. SWRMHB represents and serves the communities of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. For more information visit the website: www.HealthyMindsCT.org

Joyce Platz, executive director of St Vincent’s Residential Services & outgoing SWRMHB President; DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon; Margaret Watt, SWRMHB executive director; Lateef Habib, clinical director for Outpatient Psychiatry at Norwalk Hospital & Incoming SWRMHB President

Joyce Platz, executive director of St Vincent’s Residential Services & outgoing SWRMHB President; DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon; Margaret Watt, SWRMHB executive director; Lateef Habib, clinical director for Outpatient Psychiatry at Norwalk Hospital & Incoming SWRMHB President

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