New group hopes to help people struggling with addictions and mental health issues

A 5K Recovery FUN-Run & Wellness Walk will take place Saturday, Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting at the Walnut Beach Pavilion, 113 East Broadway.

The event is sponsored by the new group, The R.E.A.C.H. OUT Project, which stands for Recovery, Education, Accountability, Community and Hope.

“Our goal is to raise awareness and the funds needed to help in the development and growth of our organization, so that we can provide peer-mentor support to youth and families who are struggling with the challenges of behavioral, substance use and/or mental health disorders,” said founder Carol Cruz.

There will be food, music, speakers, raffles and more. The cost is $20 to pre-register, $25 for day-of-event registration.

The R.E.A.C.H. OUT Project was established to build an organization of dedicated community members whose desire is to provide advocacy, awareness, education, and support to youth and families around addiction, recovery, prevention, and at-risk behavior.

“Our mission is to create a safe environment, in which at-risk youth and family members struggling with behavioral, substance use and/or mental health disorders can receive support from certified peer-mentors,” Cruz said.

The goal of the R.E.A.C.H. OUT Project is to conduct peer-mentor support groups and workshops by providing during and after school programs such as recovery through the arts workshops, health, wellness and prevention, family support groups and community service projects.

“We believe that by providing support and being like-minded can help mentees and their families learn to tap into their strengths, and teach them how to utilize the tools to deal with the challenges of at-risk behavior,” Cruz said.

The new group is working toward developing partnerships with other agencies and businesses within Milford and throughout Connecticut to get programs up and running.

To register for the run, or for more information, contact Carol Cruz, Executive Director, 203-507-4223; or Heather Henning, committee chair, 203-506-6831.