Talking with Gizmo

Gizmo, the narrator of Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health, is a therapy dog. For the past 12 years, he has been comforting people when they are feeling sad, mad, or worried and, through his Pawesome Guide, provides school-aged children with the tools they need to manage their mental health. But Gizmo is aging and in 2023 is preparing to retire with a farewell retirement tour.

We took some time to speak with Gizmo as he reflects on the impact of his work and his upcoming retirement. (Read More)

America’s Largest Suicide Prevention Organization Shares a New Resource for Young Children, Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health©

In honor of May being National Mental Health Awareness Month, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is launching nationwide interactive Read-Along programs based on the children’s book, Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health© in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and the United Way of CT/2-1-1 on behalf of the CT Suicide Advisory Board (CTSAB) to promote positive mental health habits and trusted-adult connections for elementary-aged children. (Read More)

​Gizmo’s Pawesome Pledge for Mental Health

Did you know there are things you can do every day to take care of your mental health? As Connecticut moves forward together during this challenging time, many people are looking for ways to foster hope and wellness, and to build emotional and mental health resilience in their families and communities. To support this, the United Way of Connecticut, in collaboration with the Connecticut Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Children and Families and State Department of Education, is pleased to announce the release of the “Gizmo’s Pawesome Pledge for Mental Health.” Youth and Trusted Adults can join this effort to promote mental health and emotional wellness by taking the online pledge and making a mental health plan here.

Taking this pledge means that youth will commit to taking care of their mental health every day; talking to their Trusted Adults; completing their mental health plan, and using it when feeling sad, mad or worried. (Read More)

Back to School After COVID-19: Supporting Student and Staff Mental Health Toolkit

Educators across the world are wondering how school will look when they return to the buildings that they left suddenly earlier this spring.
This toolkit is designed to help guide conversations to include a trauma-informed, equitable, and compassionate lens to providing mental health supports to every member of the school community. Because we will all return to school as different people than when we left, caring leaders are seeking to support each other in turning our tragedies into growth, recognizing the joys amongst the ongoing and profound difficulties, and re-establishing school communities to serve everyone, with greater justice and equity. (read more)

Care & Safety for You and Your Family During the COVID-19

Dear Families,

The stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting families in various ways, and these resources can help you and your family stay safe and calm during this challenging, and uncertain time.

With schools closing, it’s also important to consider how you can keep your children who are old enough to stay home alone safe while you’re working. Please see the articles below that can help you discuss the COVID-19 outbreak with your children based on their age, and set rules and limits.

Also, when adjusting the environment for their increased safety, please don’t forget to secure alcohol, tobacco, prescription and over-the-counter medication, and firearms. Even well-behaved children make impulsive decisions based on natural curiosities that get them into trouble when bored.

Stay well!
CT Suicide Advisory Board

For the latest information about Connecticut, call 211, text CTCOVID to 898211 or visit