Greetings to all of our club members, I hope everyone is doing well. I’m happy to see that spring is finally around the corner. I have to say that other than a few rough days in February it was great to have an other mild winter. I hope everyone has paid there membership dues by now, it is March after all. We will be starting a whole new set of groups for the warmer weather. We are also bowling with Branford in the yearly CDVS Bowl-a-thong. We need bowlers too so sign up asap! I know that Mike B. will be leaving his kitchen once a week to run a walking group. I hope to see lots of people come out of hibernation and come to the club. Best wishes!

F RO M T H E V I C E P R E S I D E N T B Y D O N N A K .
Hello to all my fellow club members,
Wow what a February we had. The storm we had was really historic. Myself and several people I’ve talked to were snowed in for days. I thought the towns would never get rid of the snow. Now that spring is around the corner the piles of snow that are still around should be quickly melting away. I also hope every one enjoyed Valentines day with there sweeties. Well soon the warmer weather will be here so hold on.

Hi Everyone welcome to March! The members of the club have been a busy bunch of people despite the weather. In February, the club was snowed out of two Valentines Dances at Fellowship and Milford. One has been rescheduled for March 28th, as a ”End of Winter Dance”. We will be partying it up with our sister club from Branford too. Well it’s still kind of cold outside, but it should be warming up soon. Please be sure your club dues are paid so that you can take advantage of all the perks the club has to offer. I hope that you find the club a fun place and I hope to see a lot of new faces. I hope you find the club as fun as all of us old timers do.



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Happy Birthday to all our March Birthday Babies! Kent O’B. Norma T. 3/18 3/26 Richard S. 3/31 Karl B. 3/27

Now that spring is coming soon the club is starting to think of groups for the warmer weather. In the past our fishing group was really a hit but last year many of our fisher-people decided not to fish or just went on there own. Consequently by mid summer we had to end the activity. So we need to know if this something the members really want to do this year ? Remember that you need to get a license at your local city hall to participate. If anyone has the interest please let us know by the end of the month so that we can plan and schedule staff to take folks fishing. It’s alright if there is no interest but we need to know. Thanks for your help. Social Club Staff

We would like to put out a gentle reminder to everyone who participates in club activities. If you sign up for something at the club and find out later on that you can’t make it please take your name off the list or call the staff at the club and let them know you not coming ahead of time. Almost on a weekly basis staff have to take time away from the activities to call people at home and ask if they are attending only to hear “oh I forgot or no I’m doing something and can’t come”. So please if you want to participate in club activities please write your self a reminder and if you can’t make it call so that everyone is not waiting for you. Thanks !

In February the members of the Valley Social club received the bad news of the death of Wayne C. Wayne was well liked by many people. I knew Wayne for twenty six years. Sophie knew him for twenty. We first met when we worked at the work center back in the 1980’s. He was always a friendly person and many people knew him both in the club and the community. We will miss Wayne and we hope now he rests in piece. Kent and Sophie


Fill up your water bottles and dust off your walking sticks because it’s walking season again.

Mike B will be running the walking club this spring and summer. We will be walking over at the Shelton nature paths on Wednesday’s from 10-11:15 am. starting March 20th. Look for sign up’s in the club !

Come enjoy the scenery, get healthy and have fun.
Suggestion Boxes: Every individual has unique and different opinions about expectations, requirements and effectiveness of their behavioral health care provider. We greatly value your opinion. Please take a minute and use the Suggestion Boxes to let us know about any comments or suggestions that you may have for improving the quality of our programs and services. In addition to improving the quality of services your feedback and positive comments helps us recognize areas of achievement. Suggestion Box locations: Shoreline locations: Lobby at 14 Sycamore Way, OPTIONS at 13 Sycamore Way, Harbor House and HARP Valley locations: VSC, lobby for Community Supports and lobby for the clinic at 435 East Main We will review your feedback, give it careful thought, and make any changes accordingly to improve the satisfaction of our consumers. Again, we thank you for your suggestions and comments and encourage you to use the Suggestion Boxes as a way of letting us know how we can further meet your unique needs and improve the quality of the services that you and others receive. Nancy Patrick Director of Quality Management, Consumer Rights Officer BHcare, Inc.

Back in January some of our folks went up to the capital to tell their stories and share their thoughts with our representatives in Hartford. Here is some of what our folks had to say.
Hello my name is Donna K. from Ansonia, CT. and here is my story;
I came to BHcare in 1993 and that was my first experience with mental health services. I was married to a very domineering man that I had to call 211 for help with finding mental health services. There was no telling what I would have done with myself or to the man I was married to at the time. Since I was living in Trumbull, I went to Bridgeport Mental Health for help. During that time, I started going to college part time towards a human service degree. I was able also to leave my husband and move to Ansonia where I transferred services to BHcare. I moved in with my mother and was told about domestic violence services. That helped me understand my situation and how to handle it. I learned about the other services available to me and I participated in clinic services. I eventually found my way to the Valley Social Club. There I found a safe place to hang out. I was able to make friends. I was able to participate in activities. I even became an Executive Member recently. I also was able to work for the Community Peer to Peer Warm Line Operator for four years. This is the beginning of doing something that I went to college for. I even work as a Personal Care Attendant which is going on three years. I help people in their home. I am a Justice of the Peace and a Notary Republic and I go to church regularly. Being able to do all these things really makes my life better! Lastly, if I was not able to access these services I could have done something at the beginning of my journey to end up in prison and continued to make bad choices in my life. Instead I help people; I try to make their life better too. I enjoy the jobs I have. Now I even want to be part of the change for PCA’s (Public Care Attendants) that make our job more respected since we do not receive benefits or workmen’s comp! I would like to thank you for the opportunity to talk to you all today,

My name is Julianne M. and I live in Shelton, CT.
My hell started when I lost my husband of 26 years. I had a nervous breakdown and ended up in the hospital. I was in and out of the hospital for years. I was sent to Day Hospital, where I remained in the program for 2 years. I was in and out of that as well however. My life was destroyed and I could not get on my feet. I was so bad they told me I would be hospitalized for the rest of my life! So they tried one more attempt at helping me stay out of the hospital. I was referred to Valley Mental Health Center which is now live in Ansonia and Branford. At first, I could never make an appointment on time or at all. I was always forgetting when they were. I felt so messed up! My Case manager then helped get me on track. Then I started seeing my therapist on time and my psychiatrist, which I have had many of both! They then told me about the Valley Social Club. I reluctantly tried it. I then went more frequently. I went so much I decided to

become President and for the past 20 years on and off I have been President. We started with staff help an Executive Board that did things more on our own. I was asked to be on a new kind of Peer to Peer Line called the “Warm Line”. I am the oldest Warm Line worker in Connecticut. I am the Coordinator of the Line and have worked it since 1995. I love what I do. I even am a Peer Driver and that as well has been for many years now. I am 70 so I don’t know how long I will keep this all up! With Vocational Help I have held many jobs in the community such as a lunch lady and baby sitter. My last thought on my journey to this point makes me wonder what would have happened to me if I didn’t have the services I have. Where would I be and would I still be able to live in the community. Would I have enjoyed my daughters and seen my grandchildren and great grandchildren grow up? I do not really know. This is where I want be, I know that! Thank you for listening to my story!

My name is John L. from Ansonia, CT,
I’ve been getting services for over 20 years at BHcare, formerly known as Birmingham Group Health Services. The services have helped me to stay out of the hospital and have an independent and healthy life. I came to BHcare (formally known as Birmingham Group Health Services) to be trained in a vocational program called Janitorial Training Program. I learned skills to be a janitor in 12 weeks. They even employed me as a janitor after that. I worked at Pro-Kleen for 2 years. I had case management services for many years until they graduated me. I do most things on my own. I also continue to use the therapist and psychiatrist services at our clinic. Staff encourages me to have a voice about my treatment. I use our Benefits Counselor to help me to manage my benefits. When I first went to the Valley Social Club staff and members were very welcoming. They treated me as a person not a person with an illness. They encouraged me to try different activities and participate in just about everything. Staff encouraged me to be a greeter at our “May is Mental Health” Luncheon with the Commissioner of Mental Health. I really like doing this because I can welcome other clubs and staff to our club. I like going to other clubs. We have been able to make new friends all over the state this way. I enjoy going to the LOB with staff and meeting our Legislators’ and Representatives. The club helped me to stay healthy with activities such as hiking, nutrition groups etc… When I go to the social Club we get treated respectfully. We get to learn good social skills. We go on to trips. We have fun doing it all! Being around positive people at the center helped me to be on the right track. It helped me to feel positive about myself and to keep believe there’s always help for recovery. Thank you all!



PEER FAMILY TAKES A BOW! BY GAIL SINGLETON After almost five years the Peer/Family Advisory Council last meeting will be June 13. The number of participants has dwindled with fewer family members attending. If anyone has any ideas on how we can get families involved with BHcare and is interested in taking the group over please let me know. THANKS HERE’S ROBERT ! By Joseph Alison Our real blessings often appear to us in shape of pains, losses and disappointment. But let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures. GROCERY AND LAUNDRY GROUP FOR MARCH
Grocery dates: Ansonia 3/4 , 3/18 Derby, Seymour Shelton 3/5, 3/19 3/6, 3/20 Laundry dates: Ansonia 3/11 Derby, Seymour 3/12 Shelton 3/13

Please call for reservations. 203-732-7089 NOW AT 10:30 AM

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
1 Computer Lab 10 am
Free lunch 12-12:30pm Nature group 2:30-3:45pm Emotions Anonymous 4-5


3 No drop in

4 Lunch 12-12:12:30

5 Breakfast 8:30-10am Lets Talk 1-2pm Bingo 2-3pm Drawing 2-3pm AA Mtg. 4-5pm Over Eaters Anon 3-4pm Sober Social 5-7pm 11 Lunch 12-12:30pm 12 Breakfast 8:30-10am

6 Breakfast 8:30-10am
Beading Class 11-12pm Enlightened lunch 12-12:30

7 Art Class 11-12pm Lunch 12-12:30pm Dual Rec. 4-5pm Sober Social 5-7pm 14 Art Class 11-12pm
St Patties Day Lunch 12-1:00pm $3 Dual Rec.4-5pm Sober Social 5-7pm

8 Computer Lab 10am
Free lunch 12-12:30pm Nature Class 2:30-3:45pm Emotions Anonymous 4-5


10 No drop in

13 Breakfast 8:30-10am
Beading Class 11-12 Pool Tourney 11:30am At New .Haven Fun and Games 1-3

15 Computer Lab 10am
Free Lunch 12-12:30pm Nature Class 2:30-3:45pm Emotions Anonymous 4-5

Lets Talk 1-2pm Bingo 2-4pm Drawing 2-3pm AA Mtg. 4-5pm Over Eaters Anon 3-4pm Peer/Family Meeting 6-7


17 No drop in Happy St. Patrick Day 24 Masters table 3:00-5:00pm Christ Church Ansonia 31 No Drop In Happy Easter

18 Lunch 12-12:30pm

19 Breakfast 8:30-10am Lets Talk 1-2pm Bingo 2-4pm Drawing 2-3pm AA Mtg 4-5pm Over Eaters Anon 3-4pm Sober Social 5-7pm 26 Breakfast 8:30-10am Lets Talk 1-2pm Bingo 2-4pm Drawing 2-3pm AA Mtg 4-5pm Over Eaters Anon 3-4pm Sober Social 5-7pm NUMBERS: Phyllis 305-7895 Jacques 430-1466 Mike 732-7089 NUMBERS:
Social Club 735-9106 BHcare 736-7089 Clinic 736-2601 Ex. 380

Breakfast 8:30-10am Beading Class 11-12 Club Pool Tournament 1-3p

21 Art Class 11-12pm
Cultural day at Branford 12pm Dual Rec. 4-5pm

22 Computer Lab 10am
Free Lunch 12-12:30pm Nature Class 2:30-3:45pm Emotions Anonymous 4-5


Sober Social 5-7pm

25 Lunch 12-12:30pm

27 Breakfast 8:30-10am
Beading Class 11-12 WII Tournament 1-3p

28 Art Class 11-12pm
“End of Winter Dance” Milford $2 / 2-5p* Dual Recovery 4-5pm No Sober Social

29 Computer lab 10am
Free lunch 12-12:30pm Nature Class 2:30-3:45pm Emotions Anonymous 4-5


NUMBERS: Valley Transit 735-8294 Hill Health –503-3570

*= Must sign up
$=Bring cash

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