Paws up for Mental Health!  Your Mental & Emotional Health Matters and Planning Makes a Difference

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.

And, Trusted Adults will commit to support youth and be a role model by promoting ways to take care of their Mental Health together and separately; being available as a Trusted Adult; and, completing their own mental health plan, using it, and reminding youth to use their own Mental Health Plan when they feel sad, mad or worried.

Anyone may use the new Pledge Public Service Announcement and GIFs to promote mental health self-care locally, and may wish to use “Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health” to host a virtual “Read Along,” at which they may encourage people of all ages to take the Pledge and complete a Mental Health Plan that can be used daily to help them care for their mental health.

“Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health” is an online and print book available in English and Spanish that was developed by the CT Suicide Advisory Board coalition in partnership with the United Way of CT/2-1-1, and has been used widely across the United States to help people, especially youth, learn about mental health, how to care for it daily, and how to perform self-care and reach out to trusted adults when feeling sad, mad or worried.

You can access free downloadable copies and order free print copies of the Guide on this webpage:, which also includes fun activities, and the Mental Health Plan, all related to the Guide that can be done alone or with others both inside and outside while maintaining a safe distance.

Finally, “Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health-Elementary Curriculum” is now available as well. During the 2018-2020 pilot, 20 Connecticut school systems and over 3,000 elementary school children completed the curriculum, learned how to take care of their own mental health, safely identify trusted adults and connected with them, and made mental health plans that they can use when they feel sad, mad or worried.
For more information, please visit “Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health”, or Contact Us here: And, if you’re a fan, please consider sharing on our Fan page:! We will get through this challenging time together, and as Gizmo says, “Paws Up for Mental Health!”

In crisis call 211 or text CT to 741741, and in an emergency call or text 911.