Mental Health and Wellness Fair

The hallway outside the gymnasium was filled with Carmel High School students who came to the school’s annual Mental Health and Wellness Fair to see what services local organizations offer.  

“It’s a good way to get exposure to all the options that are out there in our community,” said Anabella Marte, a junior, who quickly finished work in her English class so that she could tour the fair.  

Students picked up brochures, pinwheels and mints that the groups offered while they stopped to talk to representatives from agencies including the Putnam Community Action Program, the Putnam County Youth Bureau and the LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center. 

Perhaps the biggest draw, however, was Mia, the therapy dog who came with representatives of Exceptional Sidekick, a nonprofit that provides service dogs to disabled teens and young adults.    

“She is so sweet,” Junior Alex Cuccia said, as she petted Mia.      

Kristin Mancini, a counselor at Carmel High School, helps raise puppies for Exceptional Sidekick. She even brings them into the high school. 

“It’s good for services dogs to be in a school setting,” Mancini said. “It gets them used to the sights, sounds and atmosphere of a school. That is important because these dogs will be paired with teens and young adults who attend schools.”  


The organizations that participated in the Mental Health and Wellness Fair:   

CAC (Child Advocacy Center) 

CCSI (Coordinated Children’s Service Initiative) 

Cove Care Center  

Exceptional Sidekick 

Green Chimneys 

The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center 

Mental Health Association 

Prevention Council Carmel Communities that Care 

 PCAP (Putnam Community Action Program) 

 Putnam County Youth Bureau 

 Putnam N. West. Women’s Resource Center