HARTFORD ANNOUNCES CITYWIDE SELF-CARE AND WELLNESS INITIATIVE
Published on September 19, 2023
HARTFORD ANNOUNCES CITYWIDE SELF-CARE AND WELLNESS INITIATIVE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HEADSPACE, COPPER BEECH INSTITUTE
HARTFORD, CONN (September 19, 2023) – Today, Mayor Bronin announced a groundbreaking partnership with Headspace, the Copper Beech Institute, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council to make self-care and wellness resources available to all Hartford residents. Administered by the City’s Office of Safety & Wellness, this initiative is a first of its kind public-private partnership focused on community-wide mental wellness.
Through this multi-year partnership, all Hartford residents, students, city employees, and Hartford Public Schools employees will be given free access to mindfulness and personalized meditation resources available through the Headspace app. Headspace will also partner with City leaders to, among other things:
- Conduct a needs assessment to identify available self-care resources and gaps
- Develop a playbook to help community-based organizations and city departments increase awareness and understanding about the importance of mental wellness and effective self-care practices
- Develop partnerships with local employers and health plans to help cultivate a citywide culture of mindfulness and self-care
- Measure outcomes through an impact study
In addition to the partnership with Headspace, the Copper Beech Institute, a local community-based organization, will provide self-care and mental wellness training for city employees, with a specific focus for employees from the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation, and the Hartford Public Library, so they can promote mindfulness resources and support for the Hartford residents they serve. Copper Beech will also host several mindfulness pop-ups at citywide public events to raise awareness of self-care practices.
The Greater Hartford Arts Council will support this initiative using public art in high-visibility locations to emphasize positive messages, reinforce the importance of mental wellness and self-care, and increase awareness of available resources.
“Communities across the country have seen a huge increase in anxiety and depression in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s been true here in Hartford, too,” said Mayor Bronin. “People are more stressed, more angry, and more prone to dangerous, impulsive decision-making, and you see it showing up in everything from road rage and personal disputes to absenteeism at work and school, domestic violence, and community gun violence. There’s no magic answer to a complicated problem like this, but the truth is that there are some simple and effective things you can do to help deal with those feelings of stress and anxiety. The data demonstrates that mindfulness and self-care practices can make a real difference, and we want to make sure that those tools and resources are available to everyone in our community. Headspace is one of the best, most accessible resources out there for mindfulness and wellness, and the Copper Beech Institute and the Greater Hartford Arts Council are great local partners.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the City of Hartford and the Copper Beech Institute on this important initiative. At Headspace, we are committed to ensuring everyone has equitable and inclusive access to the support needed to be kind to their minds - especially those with the highest unmet services access and social needs,” said Wizdom Powell, Ph.D., chief purpose officer at Headspace. “Hartford has a long history of strength and resilience in the face of adversity. We look forward to working with City leaders and residents to advance mental health equity through collective efforts designed to strengthen community bonds, scale compassion, and curate resources to enhance community healing.”
"Copper Beech Institute is a non-profit institute that promotes self-care and mental and emotional wellbeing through mindfulness and meditation. These practices can transform people's lives and promote compassion, growth, and healthy living. We are proud to partner in this effort with the City of Hartford, and we look forward to training City employees so they can incorporate mindfulness tools as they serve our community," said Copper Beech Institute’s Jeannette De Jesus
"We at the Arts Council know the power of positive thinking in lifting people up and promoting healthy living,” said Greater Hartford Arts Council CEO Dr. Shelley Best. “We are excited about this self-care initiative, and we're proud to expand on our work of using public art to brighten the City of Hartford and help people live more mindful and healthy lives."
Individuals living, working or getting educated in the City of Hartford will have easy access to the Headspace app. Please visit https://www.headspace.com/city-of-hartford for more information.
Headspace is your lifelong guide to better mental health. We make mental health support accessible to everyone, no matter their background or experience. Through our flagship Headspace app, we provide mindfulness tools for everyday life, including meditations, sleepcasts, mindful movement and focus exercises. Our enterprise offerings combine this experience with a human-centered model of care, with coaching, therapy, psychiatry and EAP services under one roof. Our team of experts ranges from mental health clinicians to Emmy award-winning producers and data scientists, working together as one to help millions of people around the world be healthier and more productive. To learn more, please visit headspace.com.
About the Office of Community Safety and Wellness
In response to incidents of mental health issues, homelessness, and community violence, the City of Hartford used COVID-19 relief funds to build out an Office of Community Safety and Wellness (OCSW). The OCSW supports the needs of survivors of community violence, justice-involved youth and adults, and individuals affected by addiction, mental illness, and housing instability. In 2022, the OCSW unveiled the HEARTeam, a team of social workers who respond in place of or alongside police when the City gets calls about those with mental illness or emotional distress.