Dear Canton Residents,
Happy July! It’s hard to believe we are already at the halfway point of Canton’s Year of Mental Wellness campaign. July’s theme in the Call to Action calendar is “Connect with Friends, Neighbors and Community.” Canton is a town where people like to know their neighbors, whether they live in an older, established neighborhood, a newer subdivision, or on our many quiet country roads. We also have wonderful spaces such as the bike trail, Mills Pond Park, our museum, houses of worship, and unique shops, restaurants and businesses where friends and neighbors meet. Community-wide events dot the calendar in Canton, from the Jamboree, the Lobster Fest, road races, concerts, theater productions, and too many school events to list. One great event that fits with our July theme is Collinsville Hot, which will be held this year on Saturday, July 15th. This year, the town and river festival is partnering with the Town of Canton to shine a bright spotlight on mental health and wellness in the face of the ongoing opioid and heroin epidemic. Collinsville Hot is an event capable of drawing much needed public attention to major issues such as the addiction crisis. This year’s festival will raise funds to help the Task Force promote good mental health and support those with mental illness. The Task Force will have a booth at Collinsville Hot and will have an exciting community activity planned. We hope you’ll stop by while taking in all the sights, sounds, and excitement that Collinsville Hot has to offer.
Canton is also home to a vast array of volunteer opportunities. Getting involved in the community by serving on a government board or a local charitable organization is a great way to meet new people and give back to your community. There is a listing of community groups, with contact information, on the Town website, www.townofcantonct.org, under the Community tab. One example of a group that does so much good is Focus on Canton. Focus is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist Canton residents with needs that are not met by other town, state and federal programs. It includes representatives from all seven Canton churches, many service organizations in town, businesses and residents of the community. They work in collaboration with the Canton Food Bank, and Canton Fuel Bank. A few of their events include the Walk for Food & Fuel in September; Neighbors Helping Neighbors, which is held on the first Saturday of November and is dedicated to helping with small tasks around the home that some of our residents are unable to do; the Canton Thanksgiving Dinner which hosts anyone who would otherwise be alone on this holiday or will not have a meal prepared for themselves or their families; and Gifts for Canton, which provides holiday gifts to many of Canton’s less fortunate. All gifts come from community donations. Focus on Canton has many dedicated members and volunteers, and more are always welcome! Focus meets on the 1st Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Canton Community Center on Dyer Avenue. To get involved, please call Focus President Lorinda Pane at (860)670-5865.
It is said that mental illness thrives in isolation. In Canton, there are so many events, places, and organizations that draw out the community and encourage involvement, interaction, and connection with friends and neighbors. The Mental Health Task Force encourages you to find a way to get out, get involved, and be a part of this great community.
Wishing you and your family a sunny, healthy and happy Summer!
Leslee B. Hill