April 2023 | Issue 30
The TriCircle Connection
We inspire families and individuals to overcome the disease of
addiction by creating real, long-term solutions!
Click here to visit our website today!
From the Desk of Ana Gopoian

Why Is Hope So Important?

Hope is defined as:

  1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
  2. a feeling of trust.
  3. a sense that one wants something to happen or be the case.

We use the word in so many ways. Our days are filled loose references to it in casual conversations.

I hope it is a sunny day.
I hope you feel better.
I hope I get that job.

It is what helps us feel determined, supported and loved when we may otherwise feel down, full of despair or isolated. Hope reduces feelings of helplessness, increases happiness, reduces stress, and improves our overall quality of life.

It has everything to do with our dreams and aspirations. Hope has the power to change the things we desire for our future. It certainly pertains to the future and is part of our thought process, so, for all intents and purposes, it does have manifesting power! It feels much better to be hopeful than to be fearful or anxious. We can stare at "what is" or we can be hopeful it will change. The latter feels better to me!

We all fall into times when potentially dangerous ideations or intrusive thoughts take over our minds. We often seethe and marinate in them for inordinate amounts of time, seemingly unable to stop and pivot away from them. When we reach this point, having hope becomes a major protective factor in helping us tackle our unhealthy practices. Yet, sometimes it is hard to believe there is hope, and we need help to see things through.

Here are some of the positive impacts of hope taken from a recent extern.org article. Hope:

  • Gives you a reason to get out of bed every day
  • Improves mental well-being
  • Benefits your physical body
  • Helps with the immune system as it reduces your levels of stress
  • Increases self-worth, self-belief and confidence
  • Encourages you to take positive action
  • Encourages you to surround yourself with like-minded people
  • Reduces sadness and anxiety
  • Creates opportunities

We all have thoughts that result in self sabotage at times; no one is immune. But if we keep hope alive, practice mindfulness and consciously and deliberately chase away the feelings of unease and uncertainty that pervade our thinking and disrupt the balance in our lives, we can always emerge out of the fog with a renewed sense of well being! Let's make today and every day an opportunity to embrace hope. Always remember, there is support out there to help you find the strength to believe that hope is a possibility and that it can help us change the way that we live. You are not alone!

Together WE are Stronger!
Introducing the Arrival of
Our New Website!
Welcome to Tricircle.org

It has been a long time in the making, and many hands have played a part in bringing it to you! Hard work, persistence, teamwork and perseverance - that is what Tricircle is made of!
Please click on the link above or the image below
and let us know what you think!
TriCircle 2023 Memorial Scholarship
Applications Now Being Accepted!

TriCircle seeks to identify people who reside in Connecticut and have demonstrated a commitment to further their collegiate or vocational studies. We recognize that the epidemic of substance use disorder exists here in our state and that tragically thousands of wonderful people have died due to the disease of addiction. We have come together to continue this scholarship opportunity, originally created in honor of Michael F. Gagnon II. The TriCircle Memorial Scholarship will be awarding one $2,500 scholarship in 2023. Scholarship applications and information are available via the links below, by email to trishawills@aol.com, or can be picked up at our new office location: TriCircle, 169 Colony Street, 2nd Floor, Room 28, Meriden, CT 06451.
The signed, completed scholarship application and all supporting documentation must be received in one packet and postmarked
no later than April 28th, 2023.

Access the scholarship forms here:
This retreat is for the self-care of parents, guardians and loved ones who have had someone in their lives die due to a substance related passing. We will be providing a Support Group Meeting, Yoga, Meditation,
Art Project, Refreshments, Dinner, and Smores by the Bonfire.
This retreat is for the self-care of parents, guardians, and loved ones who have someone in their lives affected by the disease of addiction. We will be providing a Support Group Meeting, Yoga, Meditation, Art Project, Refreshments, Dinner,
and Smores by the Bonfire.
Self Care Retreats made possible by funding from DMHAS.
Our April Spotlight

Sharece M. Sellem

Playwright, Director, Producer

The "Why" Behind the Upcoming Documentary Film
Silence on the Streets
by Sharece M. Sellem

I agree with Nina Simone when she says, “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. As playwright, I found myself curious about what was happening in my community around 2019. I kept seeing posts on Facebook with RIP “rest in peace” above them. These were young people of color from New Haven, Connecticut, who were dying from illicit opioids. Many of the comments in the posts referred to fentanyl as the killer. So, I did some research and wrote and produced a play along with the support of Clifford Beers Clinic as an outreach effort. Through the pandemic and up to 2023, the number of overdoses has increased, and I was heartbroken. One of the panelists for the play was Rob Lawlor, a drug intelligence officer with New England HIDTA. He and I worked together on panels for the play virtually, and he eventually approached me about potentially putting together a documentary highlighting the unique issues plaguing predominantly Black and Brown inner city populations that are currently significantly affected.

To gain deeper insight into some of the factors that led us to where we are today, we spoke with several individuals in Connecticut, including Ana Gopoian, Founder & Executive Director of TriCircle, and a parent from one of their support groups. We went to New Haven, New London, Norwich, Meriden and Hartford to speak with people with lived experience as well as with Yale New Haven doctors, professors, mental health providers, recovery coaches, city officials, and young adults who are surrounded by this crisis on a daily basis.

As we started the project, I realized we needed to dial things back. We needed to go back to a time familiar to me, when so many of our families were impacted by violence, illegal substances, and incarceration in the early 80's and into the 2000's. We needed to break the silence on the streets, hence, the title was born. The documentary covers social determinants of health as it relates to poverty, substance use disorder, mental health/trauma, lack of resources, environment, and more. It leads up to the current illicit opioid crisis focusing on fentanyl and fake pills and highlights the current efforts to combat these multi-layered issues.

This film is made possible by NE-HIDTA and our production team is Vintage Soul Productions and Film Haven. The documentary is currently in its "post stage" and is being edited for release and booking. If any agency, organization or school is interested in screening the film, they will be able to contact Rob Lawlor from NE-HIDTA directly to coordinate. Stay tuned for details of the release!

More about Sharece and the project:

A native of Hartford and New Haven, Sharece M. Sellem is a playwright, director, and producer based out of Newark, Delaware. She is passionate about creating work that focuses on awareness and outreach efforts that combat the effects of poverty and substance use disorder. In addition to her prior work in mental health at Clifford Beers Clinic, she was trained by Headlong Performance Institute of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and Yale University’s Practical Approach to Directing Summer Program 2014. Her resume includes performances at Bregamos Community Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Pride Arts Center of Chicago, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Carriage House Theater, Illinois Voices Theatre, Norwich Arts Center, University of California San Diego and more. Her work includes live performance, film and, specifically, documentary work. She is the founder and director of Vintage Soul Productions LLC. 

We are honored to have Sharece in our circle, as an advocate and as a friend. We look forward to booking and sharing the documentary soon. To learn more, visit: www.VintageSoulProductions.com 

Together WE are Stronger!
Free Yoga Classes
at our new location:
169 Colony Street
Second Floor, Room 28
Meriden, CT 06451
Join us on the last Saturday of every month at
10:00 am, all the way through April and May! Come enjoy some "me time" as you relax, unwind and center, courtesy of Toni McGovern of Inner Balance Living in Wallingford. Toni is a certified yoga instructor and holistic health coach.
2022 Save the Dates
Wed, April 5 - TriCircle's Drop In Setback, 1741 Pub & Grill, 70 Lyman Rd, Middlefield

Sat, April 29 - FREE Join Us For Yoga On The Mat, 169 Colony St, 2nd Floor, Meriden

Sat-Mon, May 20-22 - Connecticut Barber Expo, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville

May 2023 - TBD - TriCircle Online Auction, stay tuned for details

Sun, July 23 - The Twisted Trails 5K Color Run at Tamarack Lodge in Voluntown.

Sat, October 14 - Hope & Support Retreat, Story Barn, Somers

Sun, October 15 - Hope After Loss Retreat, Story Barn, Somers

Sun, October 22 - TriCircle's Annual Gala Brunch, Wallingford Elks Lodge

Beginning April 5, we will be back at our regular Setback location - dates and times indicated below. Join us for some food, friends and fun!


Together WE are Stronger!
TriCircle is looking for people who are action oriented and passionate about our cause, or have a need for community service hours, to work with the Scholarship Committee or the Fundraising & Events Advisory Board. We welcome you to join us
please contact: danielle@tricircle.org for
information about joining Fundraising & Events!
We can always use more helping hands.

Our Scholarship Committee is hard at work and our next meeting will be announced soon! If you are interested in honoring your loved one through our TriCircle Scholarship, please inquire about making a donation or joining the committee by contacting Trish Williams at: trish@aol.com.

We are looking for volunteers for the
Twisted Trails 5K Color Run at the enchanting and beautiful Tamarack Lodge in Voluntown, CT. If you need community service hours or would like to enjoy day filled with fun and festivities
while serving others, we would love to hear from you!
The proceeds from this event benefit TriCircle and four other
CT nonprofits. To learn more, contact Eric at:
Changes to our Support Group Meetings have begun.

Hope After Loss Groups are held Monday evenings, rotating between Meriden, Colchester
and Marlborough.

Hope & Support held Thursday evenings, rotating between Meriden, Colchester and Somers.
Zoom options will continue to be available.
Please email Ana for more details!

Starting in April we are moving the
Putnam Hope & Support Groups
to a new location:

51 Hayward Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415

Hope & Support Groups provide a safe and confidential space for parents, guardians and others who are concerned about a loved one's substance use or addiction. All are welcomed and encouraged to utilize these services at no cost. Updated information and a link to the full rotating schedule of our Thursday evening Hope & Support Group
meetings will appear soon on Facebook
and in next month's newsletter.

Starting in April we are moving the
Putnam and Berlin Hope After Loss Groups
to new locations:

Putnam is moving to:
51 Hayward Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415

Berlin is moving to:
Richmond Memorial Library
15 School Drive
Marlborough, CT 06447

Hope After Loss Groups offer a place where everyone understands. There is no judgment or blame, but rather support and understanding. Join us as we work together on this journey of healing. All are welcomed and encouraged to utilize these services at no cost. Updated information and a link to the full rotating schedule of our Monday evening
Hope After Loss Group meetings will appear soon on Facebook and in next month's newsletter.


169 Colony Street
Second Floor, Room 28
Meriden, CT 06451

We are pleased to be located inside the Women and Families Center. This will allow for wonderful opportunities for us to expand the reach of our support services and resources as we cultivate this collaborative partnership. This location also provides increased accessibility with bus and train stops close by.

Together WE are Stronger!

Your input is greatly appreciated!

If any of our readers know of an organization, group or idea that will add strength, availability and reach
to our collaborations and services, please
reach out to us at info@tricircle.org.

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