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Advocacy Unlimited




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Hello February

CALL (860) 505-7581

EMAIL [email protected]

Advocacy Unlimited Round Purple Logo

Advocacy Unlimited, Inc.


Silas Deane Hwy

Rocky Hill, CT



(860) 505-7581

Join Rise Be

Join Rise Be


Silas Deane Hwy

Rocky Hill, CT 06067


(855) 646-7366

Toivo Center Logo- Lotus Heart Flower

Toivo Center

1477 Park St.

Suite 102

Hartford, CT


(860) 296-2338

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Hearing Voices Network


Silas Deane Hwy

Rocky Hill, CT 06067


[email protected]

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Bridger Program


Silas Deane Hwy

Rocky Hill, CT 06067


(860) 882-9980

Alternatives To Suicide

1477 Park St.

Suite 102

Hartford, CT


[email protected]


Featured Article: 'Delusions' and 'Paranoia': What Are They, Really, and How Can We Engage Them in a Loved One?

Free Community Education

  • Breathwork Classes
  • Negotiating Identities- Recovering the Self
  • Interconnected Advocacy Workshop- Coming Up In March!
  • Path from Participant to Professional- Coming Up In March!
  • Mindful Time Management Webinar- Coming Up In March!

AU Spaces to Connect

  • Bridger Program Community Meet Up
  • Peer Gathering At Toivo
  • Young Adult Warmline - Phone Based Peer Support

Peer Support Groups

  • Alternatives to Suicide - Group Times
  • Connecticut Hearing Voices Network - New Group Times

Maastricht Approach Project

  • Participate in a MAP Interview
  • Potential Benefits

Connect with a Community Bridger

Join Rise Be

  • Statewide Young Adult Advisory Board
  • Young Adult Warmline - Phone Based Peer Support

Toivo: Holistic Stress Management Initiative

  • February Offerings
  • Calendar
  • Connect With Toivo's Instagram

Individual Advocacy Network

Employment Opportunities

Community Spotlight

Peer Community Resources

CT Community Resources

Contact Us

Watercolor Brain Art


Remote Associates Test

The Remote Associates Test normally takes a linguistic form: given three words, the participant is asked to come up with a fourth word associated with all three of them.

Example: Square | Cardboard | Open - BOX

Light, Birthday, Stick| ASSOCIATED WORD


Featured Article

'Delusions' and 'Paranoia': What Are They, Really, and How Can We Engage Them in a Loved One?

Book Excerpt from Healing Companions by Sam Ruck Via Mad In America

So many words get thrown around these days—words which define extreme states, or try to, in a way that diminishes the human beings who live through them. Such words don’t factor in the impact of traumatic experiences and the new, internal realities they create for people, sometimes for decades. 

I’ve repeatedly seen this with my wife. More than that, I’ve lived through it, doing my best to help her navigate such states and move beyond them. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learned a few lessons along the way that I’d like to share. One is that such commonly used words don’t come close to conveying the lived experience I’ve witnessed firsthand.

For instance, what are “delusions”? 

Here’s a basic definition from the internet: “a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary.” 

To me, this kind of sounds like a more specific way to define “psychosis,” and hence the quotation marks around the word, as I have issues with that one as well. I never thought my wife was “delusional” even after I became aware of the word’s popular use, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t at times struggle with some of the things various parts of my wife believed as they left their forced isolation and began to live outside with me. So let me share some experiences and see where I failed and where I succeeded in helping my wife through her more challenging perspectives.

Perhaps the most reality-challenged belief that a part of my wife named Amy shared with me was her insistence that she had been a spy in Europe. What do I do with that kind of statement? Well, like most of us, I disputed it, over and over and over. But the more I disputed her claim, the more adamant she became about it! This was not working. And so, I finally came to the point at which I changed tactics. The next time she brought up her claim, I said honestly and without patronizing, ‘Honey, will you please tell me about it sometime?’ And that was the last she ever mentioned it.

I still don’t know what to make of that interaction and her insistence on the validity of that memory until the moment I validated her. Perhaps she just needed to be heard and validated. I honestly don’t know, but what I do know is when I argued and disputed with her, it only escalated her claim, but when I validated her and her belief, it released her in some way that she has never brought it up again. You be the judge.

But there were lots of other “delusions” my wife had, and most of those didn’t resolve themselves so easily. In the beginning of our journey, I tended to dispute them like most of us would. When she first emerged, that same part of my wife, claimed that her inside world was more real than the outside world. This seems to be common in the Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) community. For some reason I thought I could argue her out of that belief, but it only seemed to solidify it for her...



This free community education is hosted by Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. Registration is strongly encouraged. 

Virtual trainings are offered via Zoom. No recording will be available. Once you register, you will receive an email about 72 hours before the training begins that includes the link to join the training

Click here to read our community informed consent statement: INFORMED CONSENT



Breathwork 4 Recovery, DATE: Third Tuesday of January (1/16), February (2/20), March (3/19), April (4/16), May (5/21), and June (6/18)  TIME: 12pm-1pm  LOCATION: In person @Toivo Center 1477 Park Street, Suite 102  Hartford, CT  and Virtually via Zoom. DESCRIPTION  Breathwork is an evidence-based practice that supports recovery after trauma. We will practice two basic breathwork techniques, and learn how breathwork supports a healthy nervous system. Register at 9 or Email: or Call: (860) 505-7581.

Negotiating Identities - Recovering The Self


Interconnected Advocacy Workshop

For mental health & addiction recovery advocates seeking a anti-racist, liberation based workshop. Interconnected Advocacy Workshop This 6-class online workshop centers BIPOC voices to equip you with the resources necessary to be an effective, culturally competent advocate. Starts: March 18, 2024 Online Mon/ Wed/ Fri 1:30-4:30pm  JOIN NOW

The Path From Participant to Professional

THE PATH FROM PARTICIPANT TO PROFESSIONAL - PEER FORUM   Embarking on the journey from being a participant to becoming a professional in the mental health field can be both challenging and rewarding. This seminar is tailored for peers like you who are transitioning into this transformative phase of their careers.  What to Expect:  Gain insights into the unique challenges and triumphs of transitioning roles. Learn practical strategies for a smooth and successful professional transition. Connect with experienced professionals who have walked a similar path. Earn 2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to enhance your professional development.  Date and Time: March 5th, 2024 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm  Venue: Albany Ave Branch Library 1250 Albany Avenue Hartford, CT 06112

Mindful Time Management Webinar

MINDFUL TIME MANAGEMENT - COMMUNITY WEBINAR  Date: March 13th, 2024 Time: 10:00AM - 12:00 PM Venue: Zoom (Link will be provided upon registration)  What to Expect: Insights on Mindful Time Management Practical Strategies for Work-Life Balance Peer Discussions and Support  This webinar aims to empower you with the tools to navigate your professional roles with mindfulness and efficiency. Together, let's cultivate a culture of balance and well-being.


Meet Up With the Bridger Program

Advocacy Unlimited Presents the Bridger Program. Join Us For MEET-UP Held At Advocacy unlimited Connect with your Bridger community and peer supporters over refreshments, music, arts &crafts, and more! Every Wednesday 3-4 P.M. 2075 Silas Deane Hwy, Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Peer Gathering At Toivo On Thursdays

Peer Gathering Space- Games- Puzzles- Connection- Support- And More. Thursdays from 3:30 to 5 P.M.


855-646-7366 | 7 Days a week | 12pm-9pm

When things feel overwhelming give us a call! Young Adult Peer Support Warmline: 1-855-646-7366 Staff use their lived experience to hold space, offer hope, connect callers to resources, and support their peers in living a life of self-defined purpose. Operators are available everyday from 12pm to 9pm




Thoughts of suicide and attempts are among the most marginalized human experiences. The experience itself is isolating, and many people with suicidal urges carry shame about their feelings. At Alt2Su our aim is not only to provide support, but to take the shame and stigma off of these experiences. Alt2su takes a different perspective than traditional Suicide Prevention. There is no referral or assessment process. There is no formal attendance taken at any group. This is a safe space for people to share their experiences without fear of shame, stigma, or hospitalization. To learn more about our group values click the link above to view our website.


New London Group- Temporarily Paused

Meets: Mondays from 2:00-3:30pm

Location:12 Step Recovery Solutions

155 Montauk Ave, New London

Contact: Jennifer- [email protected]

Middletown Group

Meets: Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00pm

Location: Free Center Middletown

52 North Main Street, Middletown

Contact Claudia- [email protected]

Hartford Group

Meets: Wednesdays from 5:00-6:30pm

Location: Toivo

1477 Park St, Suite 102, Hartford

Contact: Jennifer Tirado- [email protected]

Danbury Group

Meets: Wednesdays from 6:00-7:30pm

Location: UU Congregation of Danbury

24 Clapboard Ridge Road, Danbury

Contact Linda- [email protected]


Alternatives to Suicide On Zoom

Meets: Mondays from 3:30-5:00pm

For Zoom link contact Heidi Veiner- [email protected]

Alternatives to Suicide on Zoom

Meets: Thursdays from 6:30-8:00pm

For Zoom link contact Tina- [email protected]


Connecticut Hearing Voices Network Logo

The CT Hearing Voices Network provides statewide support for people who hear voices or have other alternative experiences. CTHVN group times can be subject to change throughout the month. Updated times and dates can be found on the CTHVN webpages linked below.


To find the virtual group that will work best for you and your schedule please visit


This group's purpose is to support friends and family of voice-hearers. To learn more please visit


CTHVN is excited to announce several new in person groups beginning soon! View more information below or visit to find the nearest in person group to you.

New CTHVN Groups!  •	East Haven, Fri 1:30-2:30pm, Beginning February 2nd •	Hartford, Wed 3-4pm •	Rocky Hill, Wed 12:30-1:30pm & Thurs 10-11am •	Waterbury, Fri 1-2pm •	Willimantic, Mon 9-10am  For directions, details and more groups, check out


Maastricht Approach Project Globe Logo

The Maastricht Approach Project (MAP) is a community of informed supporters working together to normalize and embrace the full spectrum of human experiences

Visit Our Website
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  • Learn skills to cope and negotiate with voices to build a more positive relationship with the voices.
  • Research shows that control over voices is possible and benefits clinical outcomes.[i]
  • Voice hearers can learn to have pride in their experience and to give their voices personal and positive meaning.
  • Learn to no longer be dominated by ones voices, and make their own choices.


The Maastricht Interview is a questionnaire that includes questions related to the experience of voice hearing and paranoia.

The interview is a 1:1 approach, and conducted between 6-8 sessions.

The interview encourages the participant to explore the experience of voice hearing, built trust, openness, and understanding in their own experience. This occurs in a structured and supportive environment, led by trained Maastricht’s Guides.

The outcome is a document written fully in the words of the participant, outlines their unique lived experience, as well as identified points of interest to work towards personal recovery.

The act of documenting ones experience can be validating to the Voice Hearer. With continued conversation, ultimately reducing internalized stigma, and promoting social engagement.

For More Information:

Email [email protected]

[i] Mourgues, et. al. (2022). Measuring Voluntary Control Over Hallucinations: The Yale Control Over Perceptual Experiences (COPE) Scales. Schizophrenia bulletin48(3), 673–683.


Bridger Program Round Logo

The Bridger Program at Advocacy Unlimited Inc. provides non-clinical, person-centered support to adults statewide whose lives have been affected by psychiatry, trauma and/or addiction. 

The Bridger Team is made up of individuals who draw from their own diverse lived experiences, coupled with the principles of Intentional Peer Support and their training as Recovery Support Specialist to build authentic, safe relationships defined by mutual trust, respect and personal agency. Engagement in the Bridger Program is 100% voluntary. 

For more information contact the Bridger Program Manager:

Char'Dornne Bussue (860) 882-9980 | [email protected]

Bridger Program: We're Here To Support You! Are you experiencing a major life change, transition or significant hardship? Looking for opportunities to connect with your community? Consider the Bridger Program. We provide flexible, non-clinical, informed support to adults who have been affected by psychiatry, trauma, or addiction. If you want to make a change in your life, regardless of personal circumstance, reach out to us. Contact: Char Bussue 860-882-9980 |


Join Rise Be


We are a grant funded peer-led initiative built by young people for young people. We are based in New Britain, Connecticut and travel statewide to create space through presentations, workshops, and peer-groups. We our shared lived experience so others feel comfortable to do the same. We are here to influence positive change across our current mental health system and within our communities. Through our effort we cultivate the belief that recovery is possible and we all have the capacity to achieve self-defined success.

Young Adult Photo Collage Banner


February 1

March 7

April 4


A space for young adults from across Connecticut to share, connect and use our collective experiences to improve the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services' young adult programming. 

During meetings, we connect, share, and plan statewide recovery and leadership events. We are currently planning the 2023 Young Adult Summer Funfest.

TO REGISTER EMAIL [email protected]

JRB Young Adult Warmline 18856HOPENOW

Our Warmline offers statewide phone-based peer support for young adults. 

Similar to hotlines, staff connect callers to community resources, hold space, and inspire callers to step forward and towards a life of self-defined purpose.

Callers may be feeling burnout or overwhelmed, recovering from trauma, or seeking a friend - all are welcome to call to connect with a peer today!






or 1-855-6-HOPENOW

TOIVO Center in Hartford

Toivo Center Logo- Lotus Heart Flower


Toivo is a peer-led initiative that includes statewide classes, workshops and a center for holistic healing and stress management located in Hartford, Connecticut. To Learn more visit the Toivo website HERE

Toivo's February Snapshot

Check out a few of the things coming up at the Toivo center in January. View the full calendar by clicking the link below to see all of Toivo's offerings!

Toivo February Snapshot

Toivo's Instagram!


Keep up to date with the latest offerings from Toivo, and get a peak into the center itself by following the Toivo Instagram page @toivo_center or click the icon above.

Toivo February Instagram

AU Individual Advocacy Network

Join us for our next Individual Advocacy Network Meeting. For the CT General Assembly Regular Session we are focusing on advocating that this budgetary legislative session include our voices. Join us to connect with other advocates, share ideas, and discuss important topics. 1st and 3rd Fridays, 10-11:30 AM. To register please email

The shared purpose of IAN

We are a group of people whose lives have been devastated by the mental health and addiction service system of Connecticut. People are suffering. People are seeking help from an expensive, broken system that is not meeting their needs. We must do better. Our intention is to promote approaches that support people to move through emotional distress. Our hope is that you will join us and take action.


Look Through A Few Relevant Listings!

Job openings at The Village

The Village has a wide variety of job opportunities available in a database which is regularly updated.

Learn More and Apply
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Multiple Opportunities: CMHA

Multiple positions for per diem Residential Monitors at CMHA in locations across the state! Check out their list.

CMHA: Community Mental Health Affiliates. Employment Applications.
Visit Their Applications Page
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Multiple Opportunities: Mental Health Connecticut, Inc

Multiple opportunities with Mental Health Connecticut, Inc in locations across the state! Check out their list.

Visit our Website

Multiple Opportunities: CommuniCare CT

CommuniCare CT has multiple job opportunities open! Click the link below to see their current listings.

Visit our Website
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CCAR Hiring Multiple Positions

CCAR Is currently hiring for multiple positions. The ideal applicants will be enthusiastic, extremely well-organized, and passionate about supporting people in recovery.

A cover letter is required. Resumes without cover letter will not be considered.

Learn More And Apply

Looking for a job where you can support others through your own lived experiences?

We regularly update the Job Opportunities page on our website.

Check it out here! 

Got an Peer Opening?

Know of a job opportunity available? Please let us know, and we'll get the word out to our network of qualified applicants.

Email: [email protected]


SING Music Study at Yale seeks participants. Up to $700 stipend for participants who complete study

Help us study how music influences hearing voices! Do you enjoy music? Do you hear voices other people don’t? Are you interested in sharing musical experiences with a small group of people? Study Visits Include: 4 weekly group music sessions; Random assignment to ONE (1) of the following group types: Songmaking in a group, Karaoke, Listening to your own playlist, Listening to someone else’s playlist, Computer games, Interviews, Questionnaires- participants will be asked to talk about their music and voice-hearing experiences. Up to $700 in Compensation. Travel reimbursement up to $75 per session. Yale HIC #2000026376


Email [email protected] or call (475) 241-5414 for more information. Follow the links below to view the recruitment guidelines or a PDF of the flyer. You can learn more about the goals for the study in the following articles:

Yale Researchers to Study How Music Affects People With Psychosis | Yale School of Medicine

NIH ‘Sound Health’ Grants Raise the Volume on Music, Singing Research | Dana Foundation

Yale study researches music’s effect on voices in the head | Republican American Archives (


The Understanding Control Over Voice-Hearing Experiences Project By The Yale COPE Project

The COPE II Project at Yale Home | Yale COPE Project

The COPE II Project seeks to understand the methods some voice hearers (including psychic mediums, clairaudients, and shamans) use to control onset and offset of their voices. Information gathered will be used to develop holistic treatments for voice hearers who currently do not have this control. Stipend of up to $830 for people who complete the subject, with the possibility of travel reimbursement. COPE II is looking for the following people:

  • Voice hearer with a psychosis spectrum diagnosis
  • Voice hearer without a psychosis spectrum diagnosis
  • Person with psychosis spectrum diagnosis who does not hear voices
  • Person without a psychosis spectrum diagnosis who does not hear voices

If you are interested in participating, fill out the pre-screening form below and email it to [email protected]. Please include “control study” in the subject line. For more information on what participating in the study requires read the full explanation below under "what to expect."

Pre- Screening Form
What To Expect 


December 07, 2023: UCSF Grand Rounds | Dina Tyler | Madness Radio

Dina Tyler’s FANTASTIC, heartful, brilliant December 2023 Grand Rounds talk at UCSF Medical School, “Improving Outcomes for Psychosis: Psychiatric Survivor and Critical Psychiatry Perspectives.”


Madness Radio: Voices & Visions from outside mental health.
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National Paranoia Network

The Paranoia Network was originally launched in 2004. Run by Peter Bullimore, Kate Crawford and Shaun Hunt, the organization aims to raise awareness of how disabling paranoia can be, and to breakdown social taboos.

Read A tribute to Peter Bullimore

Wildflower Alliance

The Wildflower Alliance supports healing and empowerment for our broader communities and people who have been impacted by psychiatric diagnosis, trauma, extreme states, homelessness, problems with substances and other life-interrupting challenges.

Wildflower Alliance Website:

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Madness Network News Art


Madness Network News is dedicated to the interchange of energy and support of mad people and psychiatric survivors. Our work is rooted in psychiatric abolition and mad liberation movements, and we are committed to fighting against psychiatric oppression and violence everywhere. 

BLOG: Anti-psychiatry vs. Psychiatric Abolition

BY: Róisín


Call or text 62-FIRESIDE

Open everyday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm PT.

The Psychedelic Peer Support Line is staffed by rigorously trained, compassionate, supportive volunteers from diverse backgrounds who listen deeply and from a place of non-judgment.

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Alcoholics Anonymous Logo

Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of people who help each other to stay sober. They offer the same help to anyone who has a drinking problem and wants to do something about it. Since they are all alcoholics themselves, they have a special understanding of each other. They know what the illness feels like – and they have learned how to recover from it in AA.



Recovery Innovations for Pursuing Peer Leadership and Empowerment at

Resources From RIPPLE

RIPPLE is a small collective of people who have lived experience with mental health and/or addiction challenges. Their mission is to empower their peers and use their voices to educate, inform, and inspire new leaders in the community. They aim to bring new and innovative ideas to the recovery process for the benefit of all.

RIPPLE has a comprehensive list of resources in Connecticut, organized by need and county.

Check It Out Here

Virtual Narcan Trainings

Learn About:

-The opioid epidemic

-How to prevent an overdose

-How to recognize warning signs & symptoms

-How to administer Narcan (Naloxone)

-Current protective legislation in CT

-Local resources & services

Read More
Save A Life Use Narcan
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DMHAS Mental Health Bed Website

A new project listing open beds, including 45 state-operated and private non-profit agencies, covering six types of programs and more than 1700 beds. Programs will be updating this site when there is a change in availability and at least weekly.

View Website
Blac Leaders: Anti-Racism Resources

Blac Leaders and Administrators Consortium has compiled a list of anti-racism resources, including children's books, social media accounts, and videos and other media.

List of Anti-Racism Resources
Blac Leaders: Anti-Racism Resources Cover Photo
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Helping Hands: A Resource Guide for Families With Loved Ones In Prison

Prison Families Alliance (PFA) is committed to improving the lives of families and children who have loved ones in the criminal justice system.

Check Out Their Website
Amplify Resource Page

Amplify has compiled a list of resources available for support in Connecticut, by region.

Check Out The Lists Here
Amplify A Regional Behavioral Action Organization
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
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Learn More


Peer support services help Veterans who are using mental health treatment services in VHA. Any Veteran can have mental health problems, trouble with addictions, or other related problems. These can all negatively affect their daily living and personal wellness. Peer Specialists are employees who are Veterans. They have personally experienced similar life challenges to the Veterans who are using mental health services in VHA.

CHR Warmline

Need support? Call to talk to a peer who understands.

CHR Warmline:

(6pm-10pm, 7 days a week)
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Husky Health Connecticut

HUSKY Medicaid Program Updates

The HUSKY Medicaid Program made several changes to their programs in 2020 to ensure better access to services and to best ensure the safety of patients and healthcare providers.

Visit our Website

Gizmo 4 Mental Health

This is Gizmo, a little dog with a big message. Gizmo is a therapy dog teaching kids in schools across America about mental health with an all-new curriculum called "Gizmo's Pawsome Guide to Mental Health." Gizmo doesn't just have resources for children, however. On his website, you can find materials on making a personalized mental health plan, practicing self-care, and supporting children and adults struggling with mental health. Check out this fantastic puppy's pawesome site today!

Check It Out Here
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Late-Night Support Meetings

Are you a night owl?

Join RIPPLE for their late-night support groups on zoom, from 10pm-12am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Check It Out Here
Eating Disorder Support Lines

National Eating Disorders Support Line

Eating Disorder and Bulimia Hotline

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Housing Support

Looking for Shelter? Call 2-1-1 Press 3, then 1 to speak with a housing specialist. 

As of 11/17/2014 all requests for shelter beds must be made through 2-1-1

Safelink users call 1-800-203-1234


Advocacy Unlimited, 2075 Silas Deane Highway, Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Office Hours: 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday

(860) 505-7581

[email protected]

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CREATIVITY PUZZLE Remote Association Test

ANSWER: Light, Birthday, Stick| Candle

Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

Advocacy And Education

Toivo Center





CT Hearing Voices Network