Summer 2017



In This Issue
Help us help the children we serve have a fantastic summer!

Traditiona l funding sources make it hard to spend money on the extras. Your contribution will directly support our efforts to make this a memorable summer for youth in your community through outdoor activities, trips, and more.


Cape Cod Family Resource Center  
  • Mondays @ 10:00 am - Parent Information Network Office Hours
  • Tuesday July 18 @ 6:00pm - Veterans Parent Education and Support Group
  • 3rd Wednesday of the month @ 5:30pm - Grandparents Helping Grandparents Support Group
  • 3rd Thursday of the month @ 5:30pm - Single Parents Support Group
  • 1st Tuesday of the month @ 5:30pm - Parents of Transitional Age Youth Support 
For more information about these events call: 508-815-5100

  • Thursdays at 6:30pm - DBT Skills Treatment Series for Adults
For more information about these events call: 508.234.4181

Free Fun Fridays
The costs of a day trip - transportation, admission, etc. can be prohibitive for many families, and time together is always at a premium.

Thanks to the people at the Highland Street Foundation, it turns out that there is a lot for families to do, and it is all free.

Please check out the link below to Free Fun Fridays and see all the fun and free things you can do as a family this summer!


Our Peabody staff made this beautiful 
cake to celebrate the wedding of
Program Coordinator, Jamie Alex.
Congrats, Jamie!    
Message from the CEO

Dear Friends,
I am constantly in awe of the support, dedication and passion that our communities bring to the work we do. As we have worked hard over the last few years to build our program funding base, community members have stepped up time and again to take the lead on major fundraising initiatives that have helped shape the direction of our organization. Through these efforts, we are combating addiction, spreading a message of positive living and standing up to stigma. These messages could not be more fundamental to our mission and commitment to the people we serve.

As you will read, we have been busy "around town" engaging with stakeholders, building community connections and working collaboratively to advocate for the needs of our most vulnerable to encourage positive growth and change. 

This summer, we will be continuing our hard work to live out the pledges we have made to our supporters to empower children, families and individuals and build stronger communities.

Have a safe and happy summer!
Until next time,

Barbara Wilson, LICSW
Program Spotlight

Connector staff, Christina Cassavant-Towers, Jack Green, and Kate Rose with Upton Chief of Police Jeff Lourie

Imagine you've just been released from jail. You have no home, money or family ties and you struggle with substance use. You re-enter the community with literally nothing but the clothes on your back. There are numerous organizations that can help; housing agencies, substance use treatment centers, mental health clinics, etc. but the choices are overwhelming. Where do you go?

Thanks to a grant from the Greater Milford Community Health Network for CHNA 6, individuals in need can now go to the Blackstone Valley Connector. Promoting physical, mental and emotional health, staff at the Connector  provide diversion and intervention services to give vulnerable individuals support and keep them out of jail and engaged in a healthier way of life. Collaborating with five local police departments  (Blackstone,Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, and Uxbridge), police and other first responders can refer individuals and families directly to the Connector. The counseling staff at the Connector will then outreach and assist individuals to address their needs. This could involve anything from enrolling in a detox program, conducting a housing search, or connecting to domestic violence services.

"We know that individuals and families struggle to access services, so the Blackstone Valle Connector provides local police another option when assisting the most vulnerable. Police can refer people to the Connector when it is most critical, connecting individuals and families to needed services."

To highlight the need for centers such as the Connector, staff received 4 calls/referrals on their first day in operation. Now vulnerable individuals and families have a place to go where caring, supportive professionals can help break cycles of challenge and provide resources and hope for a better life.

For more information on the Blackstone Valley Connectorcall 508-234-4181.  
Our Communities at Work
We got into this business because we know that strong families make strong communities and strong communities make a better world for us all. We show up for families in crisis, and the vulnerable and marginalized because we believe that everyone has the capacity for positive change and holds the strengths and skills necessary for a better life. This belief is buoyed by the people and communities we support and serve. From the mother whose child was helped by one of our programs and joins our team so that she can help other families struggling with similar challenges, to the man in recovery who gives back by speaking at local summits on the challenges of substance use and the hope in treatment - our communities, and those we support, make a difference and allow us to do what we do every day.

We marvel time and again at the passion, dedication and talent of our communities and stakeholders and their generosity of spirit that support our work. As we continue to explore ways to diversify our funding base, we have been lucky to benefit from community members who have taken the lead on advocating for our services and clients by holding events to raise much needed funds for our programs. Here are their stories...

High Five 5k
6 years ago we were approached by a group of runners on Cape Cod. This spirited, community focused group of men wanted to give back. Calling themselves the Mullet Marathon, they donned wigs, tube socks and fanny packs and took to the streets with high fives and their message of positive living. In its sixth year, the High Five 5k raises much needed funds for our programs all while rousing a raucous good time through  the streets of Sandwich!

Stand Up to Stigma - Comics for Recovery
This troupe of professional comedians believe that laughter is the best medicine. A Family Continuity board members got to talking with one of the comedians about our work to end the stigma of addiction and mental illness. Following that conversation, our Stand Up to Stigma comedy event fundraiser was born. Comedian Jack Lynch remarks that often times after a show an individual will approach him and say that was the first time since being in recovery they laughed. With this charge, and the commitment to bust stigma wide open with humor, comedians donated their time and community members stepped up to donate tickets to local sober houses so that people in recovery could make it to  the show. The event had an extremely successful maiden voyage and raised nearly $5,000 for the agency!

Fishing Tournament
A group of community members on Cape Cod, passionate about lessoning the impacts of substance use on local families, wanted to do something to support children who had been impacted by this epidemic that is sweeping through our communities. Taking up the charge, they put together the first annual Cape'd Cod Fishing Tournament (next year to be called the Caring Cod  Fishing Tournament). The funds raised from this event will go toward a support fund for families when critical issues arise.

Summer Wellness
Lots of fresh air, farm fresh fruits and vegetables, and running and playing make summer a hallmark season for physical health. However, for many children, the lack of routine and structure can give way to anxiety and emotional disorganization. But just like fresh air and healthy food take care of our physical health, there are things you can do to take care of your children's' mental health too!

Keep Those Appointments family.jpg
The bustle of picnics, camps, and vacations can make it hard to make therapy appointments in the summer. Schedules change and the need for support can get undercut by the busy time of year. However, weekly appointments can help anxious children process and transition toward the summer and make their re-entry into the school year easier in the fall. A therapist can suggest strategies for addressing challenges brought about by a different routine and provide continuity of care to maintain the progress a child has made throughout the rest of the year. To this end, Higgins Middle School in Peabody, where we provide services during the school year, recognized the need for continuity in services and are keeping their building open for students to continue engaging with our clinicians through the summer months.

Build in Some Structure
Try and maintain some daily routines and rituals. Daily activities such as keeping up with chores or family walks can help children focus and provide anchors to an otherwise free and open day.

Make a Plan
Check in as a family at the beginning of the summer to brainstorm how everyone wants to spend the summer, including things they'd like to do, accomplish, and experience. Coming up with a plan from all members of the family can help kids take ownership of goals and activities and give them something to work toward and look forward to. It also gives the family a way of looking back on the summer to see all the great ways everyone has grown.
Around Town
World Refu gee Day - Family Continuity joined other local provider s at World Refugee day in Worces ter on J une  
  7th. A big thanks to Cultural Broker, G hada Siddik, Program Director, Indira Gumbe and her daughter Shelby who handed out teddy bears to refugee childre n at the event. We are honored to support the needs of the immigrant and refugee community in our Central and Northeast service areas.   

  Fishing Tournament - And the winner was....Michael Golden and his 40 inch 30 pound bass! A big thanks for all the volunteers that came out to make this such a successful first event!

Blackstone Valley Connector Open House - Police, congressmen, and the chair of the local Chamber of Commerce were in attendance at our open house kick off event for the Blackstone Valley Connector (see above). We are grateful for the support of the  community and all the staff who worked hard to make the event a success!

Asian American Mental Health Forum - Division Director of Behavioral Health, Craig Maxim, was part of a panel discussion at the 2017 Asian American Mental Health Forum. The form was called: Spinning threads of hope: Preventing suicide in Asian communities.

Youth At Risk Conference - Thanks to our MSW intern, Irene Walcott who represented Family Continuity at the annual Youth At Risk (YAR) conference at Salem State University. YAR supports individuals working with and caring for youth in a variety of settings-family, community, school, religious, healthcare, human service, recreational and legal.

Worcester Refugee Mental Health Task Force - Cultural
Broker Program Director, Indira Gumbe, participates in the Worcester Refugee Mental Task Force. At the most recent meeting we got together with leaders from grassroots organizations in Worcester that work with refugees and immigrants to review the results of the Worcester Community Mental Health Assessment Study done by Clark University .

More Than Words - Our Peabody site was thrilled to collect and donate books to support the great work being done by More Than Words to empower youth in our  community!
National Health Service Corps
Family Continuity is pleased to actively participate in the National Health Service Corps. recruitment and loan repayment programs. The NHSC is part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and was created in 1972 to help provide and support primary health care givers to work in under-served communities. In exchange, these dedicated full-time professionals receive education loan repayment and scholarships on a competitive basis. Our Lawrence and Hyannis offices are certified NHSC sites, and currently we have one staff member in our Lawrence clinic that received a $50,000 loan repayment through the program! Additionally, we have two clinicians in Hyannis who are in the process of applying to the program.
We are grateful for the NHSC and it's recognition of the hard work that providers do in underserved communities to ensure quality and accessible care for all. For more information on the NHSC visit:
Back to School 

Be prepared for back to school!

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