The Family Side

Featured blog of Jay Boll, Editor in Chief,

Jay Boll, LMSW, writes about mental health from dual perspectives: as a professional with more than thirty-five years of experience working with homeless youth and adults with mental illness, and as a family member who has witnessed the impact of mental illness up close and personal.

There are many sides to mental health recovery.  Jay’s blog takes The Family Side.

More about Jay

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Silver Hill Hospital: My Family’s 35-Year History with a National Leader in Quality Mental Health Care (2/7/2023) - Before I started working at Laurel House, became a social worker, and got involved in, my first encounter with the mental health system was as a family member. That was in 1987. I was thirty and had just returned from five years in the Peace Corps. My younger brother Michael met me at JFK [...]
Connecticut Mother Who Lost a Son to Overdose Shares Her Story and Hosts Wilton Fundraiser to Benefit Laurel House (11/9/2022) - In February 2020, our lead Resource Specialist and Clinical Director Denise Vestuti received a call from a mother from Norwalk, CT, distraught over her 31-year-old son’s low emotional state and addiction relapse. The call was like many of the hundreds of requests for help received at each year—a distressed parent or other family member [...]
Laurel House Offers $10,000 Racial Equity Scholarship for a Black or Hispanic Student Pursuing a Master’s of Social Work Degree (6/8/2022) - Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.  – Malcolm X   * Post updated 05/01/2024 * In May 2022, Laurel House, Inc., the sponsor of, announced the creation of a $10,000 scholarship available each year to a Black or Hispanic resident of Connecticut enrolled [...]
shoes hangin off cliff over ocean Deep Thoughts on the Origin, History, and Experience of Anxiety (10/26/2021) - “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Those words are from the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s treatise The Concept of Anxiety. His definition of anxiety makes intuitive sense. Anxiety is a mental condition you feel in your body. It can seize your gut with a nausea-inducing dizziness. Freedom comes with choice, and choice – specifically, the [...]
laptop join us message NAMI Southwest CT Virtual Speaker Event – November 5, 2020 (10/29/2020) - Next week, Shatterproof Founder and CEO Gary Mendell will speak on Addiction and Mental Health in the Era of Coronavirus on November 5, 2020, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM on Zoom. Mr. Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. [...]
rtor page on mobile phone September 2020: The Biggest Month Yet for (10/1/2020) - is a free online service that helps families and individuals affected by mental health concerns connect with expert treatment and services. Through this website, individuals and families can contact a Resource Specialist by phone or email for personalized help with a problem, obtain information about best practices, or consult the Directory of Family-Endorsed Providers [...]
graduation 2020 Darien Town Champion Lily Genovese and Fellow Seniors Graduate as Darien High School Class of 2020! (6/11/2020) - In March, we shared an editorial from the Darien Times written by Darien High School senior Lily Genovese. The opinion piece, A letter to Darien High School seniors, is a reflection on what it was like for students of the Class of 2020 to have their senior year and graduation disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. [...]
Whole Family Journey Recovery, The Whole Family’s Journey (6/9/2020) - Have you ever been through a mental health crisis with someone you care about: a child who dreads going to school because of severe anxiety; a young adult who still lives at home and won’t leave the house; a sibling, spouse or parent who is so depressed he or she has lost the will to [...]
fairfield county handing out food Capital One and Così of Stamford Join Laurel House to Deliver Holiday Meals to Adults with Mental Health Conditions During the Pandemic (5/25/2020) - Employees of Capital One’s Stamford office joined Laurel House and the staff of Così in Stamford to deliver 70 box lunches to participants in Laurel House’s supportive programs for people living with mental health disorders. Laurel House’s annual Memorial Day picnic is a favorite holiday event for clients. Many look forward to it weeks in [...]
thank you frontline heroes sign. Those Who Serve: A Salute to Our Mental Health Care Heroes (5/5/2020) - May is Mental Health Health Awareness Month, a time to reflect on the impact of mental health disorders on individuals and their families every day of the year. For people living with mental illness, the coronavirus pandemic is one more challenge among many they face each day. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that having [...]
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