Mental Health Resources

For St. Stephen’s Members-
Suzanne Perlman

Suzanne began her work with St. Stephen’s Church on February 27, 2006. She is responsible for meeting with parishioners and either providing direct counseling service or referring parishioners to individuals with the appropriate expertise or other resources in the local community.

Suzanne is a highly regarded professional with over thirty years of experience in clinical social work, clinical supervision, management, community education, teaching, employee assistance and corporate consulting.

Parishioners who are in need of counseling services can contact the Parish Counselor on a confidential basis and schedule and appointment.  If you are in need of this service call Suzanne at her office at 203-834-2497

To overcome and cope with crisis, adversity, and trauma we need a good bunch of resiliency skills. The coronavirus is an example of a trauma, as it is unpredicable and uncontrollable and deadly. As we have discussed before, resilience can be learned and used to come out stronger. The common methods of resilient people include optimism, flexibility, moral responsibility, religious or spiritual beliefs, social connectedness, squelching of catastrophic thinking, focus on solutions and opportunities, and realistic acceptance of what they cannot change and changing what they can. It is truly a challenge right now as due to the outbreak of new cases increasing at a high rate. We must be dedicated to staying safe, staying at a distance and wearing masks. As always, I am available. Call me at 203.834.2497. Sometimes we need someone to talk to. I am it. Suzanne Perlman, Parish Counselor

Please know that even under the circumstances of sheltering in place that require us to stay in our homes, I am always available.  I am available by telephone to talk with you and support you.  It is especially hard for those with small children, who need all kinds of support , as do the elderly, college kids, and frustrated workers kept away from work, and friends, and worried about money and everyone else. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that Americans are among the world’s most stressed people with 55% of adults saying that they experienced stress a lot of the day.  That was before the pandemic and being masked and sheltered in place.  Most people want to stay informed on the current events but say that the news is a source of stress.  It is hard to avoid negative thoughts and catastrophising.  But there are ways to cope and to remind ourselves that we can and will prevail.  Some ways to do so are 1) to keep the facts in mind, don’t veer off into worries, 2) don’t jump to conclusions, 3) keep focused on reality based, solvable problems, 4) take good care of yourself, exercise, get enough sleep and food, and don’t beat yourself up for worrying, 5) Get involved, help others, volunteer with purpose, which calms powerlessness and anxiety.  Another good calming exercise is Tai Chi, also called meditation in motion, which is designed to calm and balance, reduce anxiety and increase physical strength.  There are “how-to” videos and tutorials on line.—Suzanne Perlman,  Parish Counselor

Other skilled counselors in our area

Ridgefield Healthy Heads and Hearts

A local team of mental health providers has convened to support the community and each other during these turbulent times.  Their information will be posted here this upcoming week. 

HUGE thanks to Tony Phillips, LCSW, Director of Social Services for Town of Ridgefield for collecting and facilitating the information.

Helpful Links