CTLN Opinion+: Miriam Delphin-Rittmon

Commissioner of CT Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services talks about stigma of mental health and normalizing talking about it

Description of the video: 

This week we had the opportunity to speak with Commissioner Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, for an informative conversation on the available mental health and addiction-related services that are available to Connecticut residents.

Commissioner Delphin-Rittmon wanted to acknowledge the stigma that surrounds issues of mental health and addiction, saying it can be very difficult to talk about. One of her goals as commissioner has been to help normalize both talking about these issues and seeking help through services. She also mentions how important it is to have these resources available in Spanish, to ensure they are accessible to more people.

We also spoke about how during the pandemic, more people may be feeling stressed, sad, and unsure of the future, and how suicide rates have also increased. Seeking help through therapy and other available resources is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is a healthy thing to do. While suicide rates in Connecticut are lower than the national average, the commissioner noted that even a single suicide is one too many, and pointed to several resources for those who may be struggling with mental health.

Lastly, we talked about the opioid crisis and addiction. Commissioner Delphin-Rittmon pointed to the LiveLoud campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about addiction and also provides resources for recovery. 

Resources mentioned in the video:

COACH (COVID-19 Assistance for Community Health) includes resources for general health and wellbeing, housing, access to food and more: https://ctstronger.org/coach/ and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OurCTStronger/

The CT Latino Behavioral Health System aimed to provide mental health and addiction services to the Latino community: https://portal.ct.gov/DMHAS/CMHC/Services/CMHCHispanic-Clinic–CT-Latino-Behavioral-Health-System 

Calling 2-1-1 from any phone in Connecticut will connect you to the Connecticut component of the National Suicide Lifeline, where you can speak to someone live who will connect you to the appropriate support resources. 

For opioid addiction information and resources: https://liveloud.org/ 


(Cover photo credit: Fairfield Citizen)

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