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Local Help

Contact Westport Department of Human Services with any question you might have related to youth and families. Information and connections to supports for Food, Mental Health Referrals, Financial Assistance and more.


Department of Human Services
Community Resource Directory

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  • Alcohol, Vaping, and Other Drugs
    Local: Positive Directions: The Center for Prevention & Counseling- Local Prevention Council -Positive Directions is a community based 501c3 Not-For-Profit in Westport that provides mental health, substance abuse and problem gambling services to adolescents, adults and families. Clinical services include individual and family counseling for adolescents, adults and couples; substance abuse evaluation and treatment; problem gambling counseling; and assessments and interventions." AA Meeting Locations State of Connecticut: Be In The Know - Get the facts on Connecticut's cannabis laws, how cannabis impacts your health, guidelines for families, and signs of problem use. Prevention Works CT -"The Governor’s Prevention Partnership builds and offers youth prevention programs that are based on state-of-the-art research and training that is reality-based and relevant to our young peoples’ needs and environment to prevent substance misuse and bullying." MADD - Mothers Against Drunk Driving -The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking. Parents Against Vaping (CT) - Founded by 3 moms, the catalyst for PAVe was their discovery in April, 2018 that a JUUL representative had entered their sons’ high-school through an outside anti-addiction group, without the school’s knowledge, and told the 9th-grade students, without adults present, that JUUL was “totally safe” and would receive FDA approval “any day.” (Their Congressional testimony about this incident was cited by FDA as evidence that JUUL had marketed directly to kids.) National: Partnership for Drug-Free Kids -In 2019, they merged with Center on Addiction, and together, their mission is to transform how the nation addresses addiction. Drugs Over Dinner -Drugs Over Dinner is a toolkit to plan, host and moderate a conversation about drugs and addiction. We have gathered thoughtful and compelling homework and resources for your guests Shatterproof -Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in America. Talk. They Hear You. - Underage Drinking Parent Resources The NIAAA guide for parents and youth on the consequences of college drinking Vaping Resources from the FDA Red Ribbon Campaign - A national leader in drug prevention education & advocacy and the largest, longest running Drug-use Prevention Campaign in the US. Helpful Article on the Effects of Mixing Various Drugs w/ Alcohol
  • Behavioral Health
    Local: The HUB - The state-designated Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization (RBHAO) serving Southwest Connecticut. They are a regional resource supporting and coordinating mental health, suicide awareness, substance use prevention and problem gambling efforts in the 14 communities from Greenwich through Greater Bridgeport and serving as the liaison between the region and state. They support the Local Prevention Councils in each town to prevent substance use and promote mental health, and bring consumers and providers together through their Catchment Area Councils to identify needs and recommendations in the treatment and recovery systems. The HUB Behavioral Health Resource Guide Kids In Crisis - Located in Cos Cob, Connecticut Kids In Crisis provides emergency shelter, crisis counseling, and community education programs for children of all ages and families facing crisis. Crisis can include domestic violence, mental health concerns, homelessness, substance abuse, economic difficulties, and other critical challenges. The Kids In Crisis Helpline is staffed 24 hours a day with trained Crisis Counselors, and provides free, confidential phone and face-to-face intervention, counseling, and referrals. Since its founding in 1978, Kids In Crisis has provided vital 24-hour services to more than 158,000 children and teens, and their families. Providers, educators, community members, and family members are encouraged to call the 24-hour helpline: 203-661-1911 for support. Turning Point CT - Their mission is to empower teens and young adults in their search for emotional and mental health. Turning Point was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues State of Connecticut: CT Department of Mental Health ann Addiction Services - The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is a health care agency whose mission is to promote the overall health and wellness of persons with behavioral health needs through an integrated network of holistic, comprehensive, effective, and efficient services and supports that foster dignity, respect, and self-sufficiency in those we serve. National: US Department of Health & Human Services: Mental Health - provides one-stop access to U.S. government mental health and mental health problems information.
  • College Health & Preparation - College911 believes transparency of critical information (student deaths/campus accidents) will lead to more informed student matriculation decisions and help their families be better prepared as medical emergencies arise. Find Emergency Checklists and Information for students headed off to college.
  • Grief
    Sesame Street Talking With Kids About Grief - Coping with the death of a loved one brings enormous challenges for the whole family. Grieving may never completely end, but working through the difficult feelings can become easier with time. Through support, open conversations, and finding ways to keep the person’s memory alive, families can begin healing together.
  • Healthy Relationships & Teen Dating
    Local/State: Domestic Violence Crisis Center of CT (DVCCCT) - To provide effective services, support and education for the prevention and elimination of domestic violence across Connecticut and beyond. - DVCC Health y Relationships and Teen Dating Abuse Info Packet
  • Leadership and Empowerment
    Local Live Girl, Inc -Founded in 2014, LiveGirl, Inc. is a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization that builds confident leaders. Their mission is to empower and equip the next generation of brave, inclusive leaders with the skills, community, and connections so that ALL girls may thrive and make a positive impact on the world.
  • Learning About Race & Culture
    TEAM Westport: “TEAM” stands for “Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism.” As volunteers, they believe there are important benefits to our children, ourselves, our neighbors and our towns in doing so. - Visit their page for local programs, resources (including: shopping, worship, healthcare, and education Westport Library Stop Racial Injustice Resource Guide: A comprehensive guide for programs, ways to get involved, books, videos and more. Find it here. Anti-Racism Resources from the Greater Good Science Center: Resources for individuals, parents, and educators on racism, diversity and bridging differences. Scaffolded Anti-Racism Resources: This is a working document for scaffolding anti-racism resources. The goal is to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work. These resources have been ordered in an attempt to make them more accessible. We will continue to add resources. Resisting the Pandemic of Prejudice from SEARCH Institute: How might we respond to these acts of prejudice and xenophobia, as well as our own fears, in the midst of the uncertainty and risks of the coronavirus without scapegoating or reinforcing biases? And how might we support young people to respond in ways that bring out their best (and ours)?
    Local: Westport Pride - Westport Pride comprises a cross-section of our community’s LGBTQ+ residents and allies. Connect - create a welcoming and connected community Elevate/Shine - Increase visibility of LGBTQ+ residents, issues and concerns Educate - Improve understanding through education and intersectionality Empower - support, mentor and inspire our future leaders Activate- Inspire advocates into action Celebrate - share our pride, culture and accomplishments Triangle Community Center (Norwalk, CT) -Triangle Community Center (TCC) is Fairfield County's leading provider of programming and resources to nurture growth and connection within the LGBTQ community. LightHouse by Kids In Crisis -Lighthouse serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) teens and their allies with a welcoming, safe space weekly meeting. Lighthouse encourages LGBTQ youth to live their best, healthiest and most authentic lives. Teens can drop in to share life experiences and feelings, socialize, snack, and share common bonds, in Lighthouse’s confidential, non-threatening environment. Lighthouse also hosts guest speakers, trips, barbecues, parties and movie nights.Lighthouse empowers LGBTQ youth to clarify issues, gain skills and resiliency, and envision and seek healthy, productive, and fulfilling adult lives. State of Connecticut: GLSEN Connecticut - The leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students. National: The Trevor Project - The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
  • Sports and Recreation
    Westport Parks & Recreation - Sports programs, Camps, Beach Stickers, and More! Westport Police Athletic League (PAL) -The Westport PAL is one of Westport's oldest youth Organizations. Established in 1948, the Westport PAL continues to blaze a trail with many outstandingYouth Athletic Programs, College Scholarships and their support of the Westport Community.The Westport PAL is a non-profit organization run by both active andretired police officers and volunteers from our Community. Westport Little League - Youth baseball and softball Westport Soccer Association - A non-profit volunteer-run organization for soccer enthusiasts.
    RULER is an evidence-based approach for integrating social and emotional learning into schools, developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER applies “hard science” to the teaching of what have historically been called “soft skills.” RULER teaches the skills of emotional intelligence — those associated with: Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotion. ​ Decades of research show that these skills are essential to effective teaching and learning, sound decision making, physical and mental health, and success in school and beyond. Click Here to Learn About How the Westport Public Schools are utilizing RULER
  • SEARCH Institute - Search Institute partners with organizations to conduct and apply research that promotes positive youth development and advances equity. 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents (12-18)
  • Staples Tuition Grants
    Staples Tuition Grants (STG) provides tuition assistance to Staples High School seniors and graduates in Westport, CT with demonstrated financial need, helping to close the gap between what their family can afford and the expected cost of tuition at the student’s chosen college or trade school. STG was founded on the belief that all young adults should have the opportunity to continue their education beyond high school. Learn more here:
  • Suicide -The CTSAB is a network of diverse advocates, educators and leaders concerned with addressing the problem of suicide with a focus on prevention, intervention, and health and wellness promotion. National: The Jordan Porco Foundation - The Jordan Porco Foundation is committed to preventing suicide in the high school, college, and college entry student population. Through awareness, education, and innovative programming, JPF is challenging stigma around mental health and help-seeking, creating open conversations about the prevalence of suicide and mental health issues in the young adult population, and saving lives.
  • Technology
    Screenagers Blog - An award-winning film that probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games and academics. The film offers solutions on how we can help our kids navigate the digital world. Wait Until 8th Movement -The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers parents to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least 8th grade. By banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike over the kids having a smartphone. ... The Wait Until 8th pledge is encouraging parents to delay the smartphone.
  • Trauma
    Understanding Trauma - American Psychological Association The Child Mind Institute - How to Help Kids Cope with a Traumatic Event Greater Good Science Center - Tips for Talking With Kids About Trauma

Podcast Recommendations


Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting Raising kids can be a bumpy, stressful, and uncertain process – which is why Dr. Lisa Damour is here to help. The New York Times Adolescence columnist and author of bestsellers Untangled and Under Pressure brings her sane, informed, and practical perspective to your timely and timeless parenting questions. Cohost Reena Ninan, a world-class journalist who has covered the White House while packing a breast pump, makes sure to get you the answers you need.

The Happiness Lab - In "The Happiness Lab" podcast, Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness. She's changed the lives of thousands of people through her class "Psychology and the Good Life," and she'll change yours, too.

The Science of Happiness Podcast - What does it take to live a happier life? Learn research-tested strategies that you can put into practice today. 

The Anxious Achiever - Rethink mental health and work, with candid stories from leaders who’ve been there.

Unlocking Us w/ Brene Brown - Join researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown as she unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted.

The Screenagers Podcast - Join Delaney Ruston, MD, a leading authority on parenting in the digital age and the filmmaker of the award-winning Screenagers movies, as she explores strategies for raising screen-wise and tech-balanced youth. Through interviews with researchers, thought leaders, and young people themselves, the Screenagers Podcast delivers the latest in science along with practical tips and important insights that parents will want to share with their kids and teens.

Baby In The House w/ Dr. Tina Bryson & Dr. Phil Boucher - 

Baby in the House, the podcast where we tackle all those tough parenting questions, where everyone's got an opinion from grandparents to neighbors, to that nosy lady behind you at the line in the grocery, Where we examine the research, share our experiences, and those are the families we care for. We give you the clarity and confidence you need to make the right choices for your baby and family. Without guilt, confusion, or analysis paralysis. Tina Payne Bryson is a pediatric psychotherapist, a mom to three boys. The co-author of the New York Times bestsellers The Whole Brain Child, No Drama Discipline, as well as the Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up. She's the author of The Bottom Line for Baby and talks to parents all over the world about how to raise kids who thrive. Phil is a board-certified pediatrician, husband, and father of five. He sees patients in his pediatric practice and actively engages parents online to bring peace, clarity, and confidence to over-busy confused parents.

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