Congratulations from the 2023 American Graphic Design Awards

I want to congratulate you on your award-winning performance in our 60th anniversary American Graphic Design Awards competition. From 9,000+ entries, only a few hundred were honored including the Gizmo 4 Mental Health Book and Curriculum Kit. The competition recognizes outstanding work by creative professionals – and perhaps most important – the value they bring to clients, brands, institutions, causes. This win is a tribute to the excellence of your art and design team as well as, in particular, Melanie Meile.

Moreover, Vanguard Direct and United Way of Connecticut and the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services are in great company. (Read More)

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)