Moving Forward, Some Things Remain Constant

I have been thinking a lot about how we will get through this.

To CHL’s friends, funders and partners, 

Last week I had a virtual meeting with a colleague at a state agency in VT to discuss a project. By the end of the meeting, her two year old climbed onto her lap and her six year was tapping on her shoulder. “I am not sure how I am supposed to work full time, provide child-care, and homeschool my kids all at the same time!” she declared as we ended the meeting. Clearly, she will only be able to fill the buckets one at a time, and I am confident that she has the resources (mind, body and spirit) to pull it off. She also has a work culture that is supportive, food, water and shelter – the basic necessities of life, upon which we are all reflecting about, more each day. 

I have been thinking a lot about how we will get through this. The logical order of things gets scrambled when the inputs change hourly, therefore, thinking in terms of short, intermediate and long term outcomes is a bit challenging right now. ☺

Some things remain certain:

There are a lot of people doing the best they can. People are working hard to fulfill their responsibilities while making adjustments personally, with their networks, and by interacting with the systems that promise to maintain stability. Our American society is largely observing the guidelines our government is providing, while “COVID-19” and the meaning of pandemic becomes a permanent part of our consciousness. 

CHL thanks everyone who continues to function under this pressure, and for the bonds of community that hold us together as families, organizations, communities, and as a state.  We are thinking of you, and you, and you, during this period of time, especially our partners in healthcare and education, and in community services. We know the difficult decisions people are facing regarding personal and family safety and work responsibilities.  We are thankful that government and legislature continue to do the work they signed up for, and are elected to do.   

CHL is moving our work forward to address priority health issues through health promotion and prevention. The projects we design and carry out address physical, mental/emotional and social health, through systems work. Currently our projects focus on mental health promotion, prevention of mental health issues, substance misuse, and suicide and we are retooling some of this work to meet the needs of these projects.

This pandemic makes us think further about how we carry out CHL’s core values and mission in practice, while we work on the projects, policies and programs that further expose the gaps of resources and weaknesses in systems of services. 

We have made it through another winter in Vermont and there is much to look forward to, even during strange times and in uncharted waters. Spring run-off from the mountains is streaming along the roads as it always does.

Please take heart, take care, ask for resources and help when you need it, and stay in touch.

JoEllen Tarallo, Executive Director, on behalf of the CHL Board and Staff

In the time of Coronavirus….Be a Personal Bicycle and Pedestrian Advocate!

The coronavirus response has left schools closed, businesses shuttered, and public transportation ridership has plummeted, yet it has shined a spotlight on the importance of walking and bicycling in communities across the country.

  • Meals are being delivered by bike in record numbers as people observe local regulations preventing dining-in.  
  • Bicycling rates are up in cities across the country as people shift modes from public transit to biking and as people bike to maintain physical and mental health while gyms and fitness studio close.  
  • Nationwide, trail usage is up over 200% compared to this time last year.
  • Even in some cities and states that have closed essential businesses, bike shops and legacy bikeshare systems are deemed essential. Bikeshare systems are seeing huge surges in ridership.

Air pollution is down in many locations around the country and the world due to reduced levels of driving.

*CHL Projects, Policies and Programs:

  • Suicide Prevention- promoting Zero Suicide and comprehensive approaches in multiple communities
  • Opioid Medical Education Training: Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment for Emergency Room staff in counties in VT with high Emergency Department use for opioid related crisis funded by VT Department of Health 
  • Regional Prevention Partnership trainings and other Substance Misuse Prevention Projects
  • Umatter® Youth and Young Adults mental health wellness promotion and community action
  • Connecting Rural Communities Mental Health in Grand Isle County with special focus on cultural considerations for working with Abenaki
  • Umatter® Mental Health in several high schools in Vermont
  • Rutland Suicide Safe Care project coordinating efforts among primary care, mental health and hospital partners;
  • Prevention Consultant Certification laying the plans for a new certification for prevention specialists in Vermont 

CHL in 2019

Suicide Prevention Trainings/Events

  • 847 Attendees

Substance Misuse Trainings/Events

  • 531 Attendees

Our Guiding Principles

  • Equity and Access
  • Evidence and Outcomes-based Practices
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Community-oriented

Our Mission

To build a foundation for healthy communities, through educational resources, professional development and practice improvement, research, policy development, evaluation, and consult.