Updated youth services booklet is a help in crisis

For families and those who deal with children, a new booklet makes it easier to obtain help for medical and social issues. Wilton Youth Services, at the Comstock Community Center, has updated its Crisis Resource Directory from the 1990s to reflect changes in crisis response.

“The book is an update from the 1990s but the number of resources has grown, and our book gives people the ability to access them,” said Maria Wilcox, chairperson of the Wilton Youth Council, the group that funded the update.

“We funded it and we do think it is an important resource to have,” she said.

The new booklet is noticeably different from the one it replaces, with a different color: bright green, making it easier to notice than the previous color, which was blue. Not only does it provide contact information to various agencies beyond 911, it also provides important information on the type of situation being experienced.

“The guide was developed to create awareness in young people, families, and friends as to signs of crisis and trouble and as a guide to finding assistance in the area,” said Colleen Fawcett, coordinator of Wilton Youth Services and author of the guide.

“There is a difference between an emergency, a crisis, and a sign of trouble,” she added. “The booklet is to help people know what to do.”

One section describes emergencies, including violence and injuries.

Crises are signs that may be a threat to an individual, also to be taken seriously, but while one calls 911 for an emergency, for a crisis, there are numerous contacts.

“Signs of trouble” is defined in the booklet as “Life Stresses and Time of Trouble.” While they are not emergencies, they are instances where one must talk to a parent or a professional, such as failing grades, and signs of crash dieting.

“The goal of the book is to catch on early, know the signs of trouble, and intervene,” Ms. Fawcett said. “The plan is to give it to every family, school guidance counselor, and agency working with children.”

The booklet will be mailed to households early next month and will be available at most schools.