The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), in partnership with local organizations and communities, will kick off National Prevention Week 2019 with a forum on May 13 at 5 p.m. at the New Britain Museum of American Art located at 56 Lexington Street in New Britain.
The forum will feature a presentation by Ruth Potee, MD on the effects of addiction on the brain, as well as live music, light refreshments and a tour of the museum. Winners of this year’s NPW video contest will also be announced. DMHAS Commissioner Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon and New Britain Mayor Erin Elizabeth Stewart will make opening remarks.
“Research has shown that the brain is not fully developed until an individual reaches their early twenties. Using substances during the teen years and in early adulthood has the potential to negatively impact a brain that is still developing,” said DMHAS Commissioner Delphin-Rittmon. “We are fortunate to have Dr. Potee, a recognized expert on the brain and substance use, present on this important topic.”
The event is a celebration of National Prevention Week (NPW), a weeklong observance dedicated to increasing the prevention of substance use and promotion of mental health through prevention. This year’s NPW theme, “Inspiring Action. Changing Lives.,” is a reminder that everyone can inspire positive change throughout the year.
“This timely, informative presentation will shed light on how drug use adversely affects the developing brain, and the importance of prevention and health promotion strategies in helping individuals to avoid harmful substances,” said Judith A. Stonger, MA, CPS, CARC, vice president of Prevention, Wellness and Recovery, Wheeler Clinic/Connecticut Clearinghouse. “We strongly encourage members of the community to attend this event.”
The event is free, and the public is welcome. Prior registration is required. For more information or to register, go to www.ctclearinghouse.org/registration.
About Dr. Ruth Potee
Dr. Ruth Potee is a board-certified Family Physician and Addiction Medicine physician at Valley Medical Group in Greenfield, Massachusetts. She attended Wellesley College and the Yale University School of Medicine. She completed her residency at Boston University where she remained as an assistant professor of Family Medicine for eight years. She serves as the Medical Director for the Franklin County House of Corrections, the Franklin Recovery and Treatment Center, and the Pioneer Valley Regional School District. She also is Chair of the Healthcare Solutions of the Opioid Taskforce of Franklin County. Dr. Potee was named Franklin County Doctor of the Year by the Massachusetts Medical Society in 2015.
About National Prevention Week
National Prevention Week (NPW), May 12-18, 2019, is a SAMHSA-sponsored campaign dedicated to increasing the prevention of substance use and promotion of mental health by promoting prevention year-round. The weeklong National Prevention Week observance that occurs each May brings individuals, organizations, coalitions, states, and communities together to celebrate the events and activities that communities have held all year to raise awareness about the importance of preventing substance use and mental disorders.
About the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is a health care agency whose mission is to promote the overall health and wellness of persons with behavioral health needs through an integrated network of holistic, comprehensive, effective, and efficient services and supports that foster dignity, respect, and self-sufficiency in those we serve. While the Department's prevention services serve all Connecticut citizens, its mandate is to serve adults (over 18 years of age) with psychiatric or substance use disorders, or both, who lack the financial means to obtain such services on their own. Visit the DMHAS website at www.ct.gov/dmhas.
About Connecticut Clearinghouse
Connecticut Clearinghouse is a statewide library and resource center for information on substance use and mental health disorders, prevention and health promotion, treatment and recovery, wellness and other related topics. Materials from its specialized library and resource center are available to Connecticut families, teachers, students, professionals, communities and children. A program of Wheeler Clinic’s Connecticut Center for Prevention, Wellness and Recovery, the Connecticut Clearinghouse is funded by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Learn more: www.ctclearinghouse.org.
Wheeler provides comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues, providing individuals, families and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages recovery, health and growth at all stages of life. Our integrated approach to primary and behavioral health, education and recovery creates measurable results, positive outcomes and hopeful tomorrows for more than 30,000 individuals across Connecticut each year. Learn more: www.wheelerclinic.org