Empowering the Vital Village Community:
May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
In celebration, this issue of the VVN Network Connector Newsletter will be themed about mental health-related news, events, and resources!
Mental Health Month with the Mental Health Committee
Each year, VVN's Mental Health Committee organizes a campaign of events in the month of May and beyond that aim to strengthen our communities, eliminate stigma, and promote positive mental health. Keep on the lookout for mental-health related events from the Mental Health Committee this month and beyond!

We also welcome you to join the Mental Health Committee if you are passionate about mental health! You can fill out an interest form here.
Village Voices
Network members' voices bring good news and share highlights from
around our community.
Winter Family Support
Community champions from the Vital Village Mental Health Committee and Boston Breastfeeding Coalition came together to lead the COVID-19 Winter Family Support Project. They were successfully awarded funding from the Boston Public Health Commission and worked in partnership with the Family Nurturing Center.

This project was an opportunity to provide essential items and support for families with children ages 8 years old and younger who reside in Boston, MA. The goal was to enhance families ability to promote wellness and positive family engagement this winter.

Every family was asked about their strengths and challenges and worked with a Vital Village Family Support Partner to identify the resources they felt would help their family thrive, expand social connections and heal.  

The event was a huge success! Thank you to everyone involved!
Network Events
Connect with Vital Village Network at these upcoming events. Click
event to RSVP or learn more.
Network Connection Meeting
On Monday, May 10th, Vital Village and the Mental Health Committee hosted our May Network Connection Meeting, titled Mental Health Awareness to Action: Vision, Value, and Engagement with the Mental Health Committee.

During this meeting, the Mental Health Committee presented its roots, how it has changed with the emerging pandemic, and its future plans and participants had the opportunity to learn more about engagement with Vital Village and its partners as well as share important feedback on the Mental Health Committee.

We were more than impressed with how enthusiastic and engaged our participants were during this meeting, and we learned a great deal from their experiences!

Every Thursday at 3:30 pm

May 25th, 6pm-7:30pm

May 27th, 12pm-1pm

Community Events
Join Vital Village Network partners and other community organizations at these upcoming events. Click event to RSVP or learn more.
May 18th, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Join Lime Connect and The Stability Network’s Michelle Tenzyk, as she moderates a discussion with Lime Network members about living and working with a mental health condition. Through this engaging session, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of mental health conditions as well as ways in which to support individuals on both personal and professional levels.
Note: These sessions are open to anyone who might benefit from joining, including individuals seeking to better support students and professionals with Chronic Health Conditions.

May 20th, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
The Co-Pad presents a series of monthly meet-ups for men of color in Boston. Join us for May's meet-up! Our May featured speaker is Kurt Faustin, the founder of The stressLESS Society. We'll be discussing mental health in our community. Due to COVID restrictions, capacity is limited.

May 20th, Starting at 7:30pm
This is a virtual celebration of joy, resilience and the power and creativity of the arts. The performance will highlight the work of community youth as well as those in residential treatment programs throughout the year along with virtual creations inspired during our stay at home time during the COVID 19 crisis. 
Featured works created by our youth in partnership with guest artists include: an uplifting music video with Ricky Duran (The Voice, Season 17), a colorful dance piece with Carlos Thomas and Cammie Griffin of STOMP, visual storytelling with filmmaker Matt Mixon, and hybrid animal art sculptures with visual artist Wes Bruce. 
Join us for an uplifting experience with over 450 youth participants from over 20 programs that created visual art and original performance. 

May 22nd, Starting at 9:30am
NAMIWalks Massachusetts brings together thousands of people each year to combat discrimination, raise funds, and educate the public about mental health. NAMIWalks is our biggest and most important fundraiser of the year, and supports our educational programs, support groups, helpline, and grassroots advocacy efforts.

May 22nd, 9:00am - 3:00pm
The Watertown Free Public Library is partnering with Wayside Multi-Service Center to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for the Watertown Community. MHFA teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

Registration for Explore It Summer Camp is now OPEN TO ALL! 
Explore It will provide full-day, in-person, week-long summer camp experiences for children entering grades K-2. Campers will enjoy the full Museum, play games, explore the Museum's waterfront and the adjacent Martin's Park, as well as engage with hands-on STEAM discovery experiences.
Check out more community events on our Website and Facebook.
Check out job, volunteer, and grant opportunities available in our
We have a new opportunities page! Please click the button below for a full list of job, volunteer, and grant opportunities with descriptions and links.
Resource Connector
Learn more about resources relevant to children and families in our community from our community.
VVN Wellness Bank Resource Guide
The Wellness Idea Bank is a comprehensive and community-driven guide for those in the Greater Boston Area that helps collect events, ideas, and resources for supporting wellness and social connections. Please check out the new May edition of our community-created Resource Guide, tailored to and focused on relevant and time-sensitive resources for residents of the Greater Boston Area.
Connections and Healing
Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) provides access to services and supports to meet the mental health needs of individuals of all ages; enabling them to live, work, and participate in their communities.
Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH) has worked to improve understanding of mental health conditions and combat disparities in health services access. We envision a day when all individuals and families across the Commonwealth have the resources and opportunities they need to promote resilience and protect overall health.
Youth Resources
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) provides child care financial assistance for families in need. In order to be eligible for funding, you and your family must meet certain requirements. You may be placed on waiting list if funding is not immediately available.
COVID-19 Information and Resources
The City of Boston launched the Equity in Vaccine Access (EVA) Line to help Boston residents who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 get vaccinated. While the virus has affected every community, data have consistently shown that people of color and older adults face greater risk from COVID-19.

Scoop on the Stats
Explore data related to early childhood education and network initiatives!
Sharing Technology
Explore technology related to child and family well-being.
We are excited to roll out our Abundance App 3.0.2! Location data sharing is no longer required in order to use the app and we have updated the Supermarkets layer. If you haven't downloaded Abundance yet, head over to the Google Play or App Store!
CONtexts aims to promote positive outcomes between caregivers and children by sharing weekly resources through a FREE text service and interactive resource sharing map. These resources are ideal for anyone working with or caregivers of children ages 0-5.

To subscribe, text KIDS to 844-806-0616
Once you're subscribed you will receive 3 weekly FREE text messages:
  • Monday: Nearby community resources
  • Wednesday: Wellness tips
  • Friday: Family-fun events
Our Mission

Vital Village is a network of residents and agencies committed to maximizing child, family, and community wellbeing.
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