Jul 29, 2014

Letter: Preserve TeenTalk Outreach Program

Shari Shapiro, Executive Director of Kids in Crisis, urges New Canaan residents to speak up about proposed cuts to counseling program at New Canaan High School.

Letter: Preserve TeenTalk Outreach Program

Dear Editor,

I wanted to inform you of an unfortunate decision made last night by the New Canaan Finance Board. 

The decision was made to reduce the budget of the TeenTalk Outreach Counselor at New Canaan High School by 50%—a shocking turn of events in the wake of Newtown, when the need for mental health services among adolescents is apparent now more than ever.

The decision to cut $25,000 has in effect eliminated the program entirely for the 2013-2014 school year, since the program model is predicated on service provided to New Canaan children and families, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Crisis does not make an appointment; the TeenTalk Outreach Counselor is available full-time during school hours, and additional support is provided by the TeenTalk Counselor and Kids in Crisis after-hours.

Ed Milton, MSW, has served as TeenTalk Counselor at NCHS since 2006. Over the course of his service at NCHS, Ed has met with more than 1,100 students for regular counseling – and this number does not include the number of students he worked with through school-wide events, activities, and presentations.

This Kids in Crisis program has saved lives at NCHS. Yet, the town leadership in New Canaan has chosen to cut this effective, long-running, proven program.

I ask you to take action and share that you are unhappy with the decision to cut TeenTalk from NCHS by contacting the following:

Robert Mallozzi, First Selectman, at 203-594-3000 or Robert.Mallozzi@newcanaanct.gov

Board of Finance at BOFDistribution@NewCanaanCT.gov

Carol McDonald, Director of Social Services, at 594-3076 or Carol.mcdonald@newcanaanct.gov

Thank you for your support,

Shari Shapiro
Executive Director, Kids in Crisis
Cos Cob

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