The Connection Receives Federal Funding to Offer Lifesaving Narcan Training & Mental Health First Aid

For fifty years The Connection has served as a human services Non-Profit providing unique solutions to the problems of homelessness, mental health, substance use, and community justice rehabilitation.

The Connection will receive $243,000 in congressional funding to be used in four different ways at the agency. “Thank you to Senator Blumenthal and Senator Murphy for advocating for this award to be signed into law and for your determination to improve the quality of life in Connecticut,” says The Connection’s Chief Executive Officer Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore.  “We need funding like this to be able to continue our important work around the state.”

The Connection’s social enterprise, The Institute for Innovative Practice, will provide Integrated CPR and Narcan training to frontline staff. The Institute will also develop a four-hour training on the Best Practices for Engaging and Supporting Clients with Opioid Dependency. Thanks to the federal funding, the training will be offered quarterly, free of charge, to statewide community partners. Equipping community staff with the knowledge and tools to fight the Opioid Epidemic is a vital component to making our state healthier.

The federal funding will enable The Connection to open 1,000 complimentary enrollments for Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid training. Mental Health First Aid is a nationally acknowledged curriculum that teaches non-clinical staff to recognize and respond to the signs of mental illness. If you are interested in bringing this training to your organization, please contact Brenna Adams.

Lastly, The Connection will use part of this award to renovate the kitchen and common areas of Hallie House, a residential substance use program for women and children in Middletown.

The Connection and its Institute for Innovative Practice are focused on helping organizations of all types meet their mission. The balance of this funding allows The Connection to provide these trainings at no cost to community members and partners who are fighting the opioid epidemic across the state.

Senator Blumenthal visited with The Connection’s staff at our Middletown offices on Monday, January 23, 2023.

The Connection, in its training and ability to identify and reach out to people who suffer from mental illness and substance use disorder, is so critical in this fight for public health, mental health, and to conquer this scourge of drug abuse … which is why this grant, focused on training, is so important. Think of it as a force multiplier. We give people the tools, the training, so they can use it in the field but also teach others how to identify mental illness, how to reach out people with substance use disorder, how to bring them into a system of care…” — Senator Blumenthal