Fairfield County’s premier fundraising gala for children’s mental health returns on Thursday, May 18, honoring the advocacy of Connecticut Senator Tony Hwang and celebrating the impact of the region’s mobile crisis workers.
The Child & Family Guidance Center (CFGC) is hosting the Champions for Children Gala in Westport at The Inn at Longshore during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. All event proceeds support CFGC’s mental health treatment, substance use programs and family support services.
“Sen. Hwang has consistently listened to CFGC and organizations like us, to understand the complex challenges the kids and families we serve are facing when it comes to mental health,” said President & CEO Michael Patota. “He has then brought those issues forward at both the community and the state levels to make change and break stigmas.”
Sen. Hwang’s advocacy at the state level helped secure additional funding for CFGC’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Services (MCIS) — a team that responds to kids and teens in crisis within 45 minutes of a caregivers call to Connecticut’s 211 line.
“Our MCIS team is now 24/7 and our clinicians are receiving an unprecedented number of calls these last few months,” said Patota. “The need was clearly there, and advocates like Sen. Hwang are helping us meet the need.”
Sen. Hwang, who represents the 28th district, which includes Fairfield, Easton, Newtown and parts of Westport and Weston, has been particularly vocal about the impact of isolation and lockdowns on youth during COVID-19. He has hosted a number of community forums to raise awareness and connect parents to resources like CFGC.
“I love what I do because I can give platforms to organizations that toil in the shadows, like Child & Family Guidance,” said Hwang. “This issue cuts across all political parties, socioeconomic or cultural backgrounds and across town lines. I’m just happy to do my part.”
The 2023 Gala will also highlight the day-to-day work of the mobile crisis team at CFGC, giving a deeper look into the clinicians who help kids and families navigate difficult moments.