Chesapeake Voyagers, Inc.
News & Updates

" And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow fast in the movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."
~F.Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

On May 25th CVI held a Paint Party, facilitated by one of our volunteers, Jackie Dew! Jackie shared her love and knowledge of art with participants and also shared how art can be incredibly beneficial and therapeutic for those struggling with mental health and/or substance use issues. We had a great turnout, as everyone channeled their creative side and produced some really amazing artwork!
Mental health and substance use crisis services for anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Beginning this summer, 9-8-8 will be the new, easy-to-remember phone number for the National Suicide Prevention and Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline. Calls to the line will go to trained counselors at local crisis call centers who can provide free, confidential advice and emotional support for people in distress, 27/7, 365 days a year. Maryland has eight call centers and individuals will be directed to the center closest to them and can be accessed via phone, text or chat. Counselors can then help connect people to their local community mental health and substance use services at moments of crisis.
9-8-8 was created thanks to the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, passed by Congress in 2020. This shortened the longer, 8 digit number to the National Suicide Hotline to a simple, easy to remember 3 digit number that will connect people with support anywhere in the country. All states within the U.S. were required to transition to the new number within a two year period. In Maryland, 988 will go into effect on July 16, 2022.
In order to support the cost of this initiative, Maryland established the
9-8-8 Fund. During the 2022 General Assembly, a law was presented and Governor Hogan signed legislation that would assure ongoing funding. Ths law established a 988 Trust Fund, designated $5 million for local helplines in 2022 with deposits of $5.5 million into the trust earmarked for 2023.
Benefits of the new 9-8-8 number:
·       Individuals will now have better access to equitable, timely, and effective mental health and substance use care, including behavioral health crisis care.
·       Eliminating the wait (often hours, or even days) of those who go to hospital emergency rooms for mental health and substance use crises by connecting them directly with services they are in need of.
·       Helping to reduce the over reliance on law enforcement for responding to behavioral health crises.
For more information on the new 9-8-8 crisis hotline in Maryland please visit
Sunlight and Serotonin
We’re used to hearing about how too much of the sun’s warm rays can be harmful to your skin. But did you know the right balance can have lots of mood-lifting benefits? Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep.
Without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can dip. Low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of major depression with seasonal pattern (formerly known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD). This is a form of depression triggered by the changing seasons.
A mood boost isn’t the only reason to get increased amounts of sunlight. There are several health benefits associated with catching moderate amounts of rays.

Sunlight and Mental Health

Decreased sun exposure has been associated with a drop in your serotonin levels, which can lead to major depression with seasonal pattern. The light-induced effects of serotonin are triggered by sunlight that goes in through the eye. Sunlight cues special areas in the retina, which triggers the release of serotonin. So, you’re more likely to experience this type of depression in the winter time, when the days are shorter.
Due to this connection, one of the main treatments for depression with seasonal pattern is light therapy, also known as phototherapy. You can get a light therapy box to have at home. The light from the box mimics natural sunlight that stimulates the brain to make serotonin and reduces excess melatonin.
Exposure to sunlight can also benefit those with:
Anxiety-related disorders and panic attacks have also been linked with changing seasons and reduced sunlight.

The sun’s benefits go beyond fighting stress. The following are some of the other reasons to catch some rays:

Building strong bones
Exposure to the ultraviolet-B radiation in the sun’s rays causes a person’s skin to create vitamin D.
The vitamin D made thanks to the sun plays a big role in bone health. 
Cancer prevention
Although excess sunlight can contribute to skin cancers, a moderate amount of sunlight actually has preventive benefits when it comes to cancer.
According to researchers, those who live in areas with fewer daylight hours are more likely to have some specific cancers than those who live where there’s more sun during the day. These cancers include:

Healing skin conditions
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) sun exposure might help treat several skin conditions, too. Doctors have recommended UV radiation exposure to treat:
While light therapy isn’t for everyone, a dermatologist can recommend whether light treatments will benefit your specific skin concerns.

Additional conditions
Research studies have revealed preliminary links between sunlight as a potential treatment for several other conditions. These include:

However, more studies need to be conducted before researchers can conclude that sunlight can be a treatment for these and other conditions

Chesapeake Voyagers, Inc.
Wellness and Recovery Center
607 Dutchman's Lane Easton, MD 21601