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Community trainings funded by Particle Accelerator concert, coming on June 11

Area residents will have two opportunities in May to attend free Mental Health First Aid trainings.

United Services will be holding the free 8-hour course over two days: Fridays May 13 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day at United Services Dayville office, 1007 North Main Street, Dayville.

United Services will also host a Youth Mental Health First Aid training from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday May 27 at United Services Dayville office.

There is limited availability for these award winning trainings, serving as the mental health equivalent to CPR to provide individuals with the skills to assist in a mental health crisis until professional assistance can be provided. Residents must attend all 8 hours of the training to be certified.

Those interested in attending should register by contacting Emily Morrison of United Services at or calling 860-774-2020.

Through MHFA participants learn:

  • The signs and symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, psychosis and addiction;
  • How to approach someone in a mental health crisis;
  • How to be supportive, diffuse the situation and encourage professional help, and;
  • What to do if someone is suicidal, harming themselves or refuses help.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults — family members, caregivers, school staff, health and human services workers, etc. — who work with young people 12-25, providing instruction on how to help a child or teen who is experiencing a mental health or substance use problem or is in crisis. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

Funding for this community training is made possible thanks to the proceeds of the annual “Particle Accelerator” benefit rock concert in memory of Jack Young, Jr.

This year marks the 10th Annual Particle Accelerator: A Day of Music and Hope, to be held Saturday, June 11, 2016 in Rotary Park in downtown Putnam. The free, all day music festival features 20 bands playing music of all genres and for all ages. The concert begins at noon and will continue until 11 p.m.

Local businesses are invited to participate in this community event, which draws crowds of hundreds. For more information, please click on the 2016 Particle Packet or visit

The annual benefit concert has two main goals. The first is to raise funds and awareness to support United Services, Inc., one of Connecticut’s most comprehensive private, non-profit behavioral health centers, providing mental and behavioral health education, prevention, treatment and social services to the children, adults and families of northeastern Connecticut since 1964.

United Services is available 24/7/365 at 860-774-2020 for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The second goal is to provide information and support for depression and suicide prevention, while promoting music and civic engagement as a healthy alternative to drug and alcohol abuse among young adults.

The festival is held in memory of local musician Jack Young, Jr. and organized by local residents, business owners, musicians and artists. In addition to the concert, the family-friendly festival will also feature art displays, children’s activities and booths from local nonprofit organizations providing information on various local behavioral health and human services.

In nine years, Particle Accelerator has raised more than $38,000 for local mental health services. Last year’s festival raised more than $8,000, a figure organizers hope to top this year.