Community Health Fair offers wellness resources, support

Aug 17, 2022

The Council on Aging room in the town’s Multiservice Center was chock full of organizations offering their resources to passersby for Wednesday’s Community Health Fair.

From the National Alliance on Mental Illness to the AARP to the Wareham Land Trust, many groups came out to raise awareness of their services.

Organizer Judi Grassi said the idea for the health fair was sparked in June, and the goal of the event is to both raise awareness for mental health services and bring recovery programs to Wareham.

Grassi said that she hopes the fair could become an annual event, bringing together residents and programs that could help them.

Residents roamed booths of organizations throughout Wednesday afternoon.

At one booth, Nancy Latham introduced passersby to Parents Supporting Parents, an organization that brings together parents whose family members are dealing with substance abuse.

“You feel like you’re not alone,” Latham said of the benefits of the group’s regular meetings, where people gather to share their stories. “Anybody could really go.”

Across the hall, Melissa Ramos and Kirsten Gibbs were sharing information about Wareham Connects, a local arm of the Plymouth Area Prevention Collaborative. The two handed out flyers detailing the training sessions offered by the collaborative on resiliency, mental health and talking with those struggling with addiction.

“Mental health is definitely becoming a bigger issue,” Gibbs said.

Ramos said the group tries to connect residents with all the different resources available to them throughout the region, including substance abuse help, mental health education and aid in identifying kids who are struggling.

A need for recovery services in Wareham is a key point for Grassi, who spoke to her own struggles in the past with homelessness. She said she’s worked in recovery in the past, and she sees a lack of comprehensive mental health services in town.

But at the fair on Wednesday, the main goal was making people aware of the services already available in town and the Plymouth County region, which Grassi was optimistic about.

“The community wants this,” she said.