Wally Lamb to speak at Backus mental health forum

Norwich - Best-selling author and Connecticut resident Wally Lamb will be the featured panelist at The William W. Backus Mental Health Forum at 6:30 p.m. on May16 at the Hartford HealthCare East System Support Office, 11 Stott Ave.

Admission is free. A questions-and-answer session will follow the panelists’ presentations.

The forum is titled, “Can’t Keep it to Ourselves: A Community Dialogue on Mental Health,” and is the latest in a series of mental health forums sponsored by affiliates of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network.

Lamb is the author of best-selling books including “She’s Come Undone,” “I Know this Much is True” and “We Are Water,” the settings of which are often inspired by the landscape of eastern Connecticut. His New York Times best-selling Christmas story, “Wishin’ and Hopin,’” will be made into a feature film, with the author serving as co-executive producer. Under the direction of Colin Theys and a screenplay by John Doolan, the film is scheduled to be shot in Connecticut this summer.

Lamb is a mental health advocate and works closely with inmates at the York Correctional Facility in Niantic, an effort that resulted in a book of stories by inmates titled, “Couldn’t Keep it to Ourselves: Testimonies from our Imprisoned Sisters.”

Additional panelists will include:

• Kathleen Flaherty, lawyer, mental health consumer and advocate

• Jim Sorensen, president, National Alliance on Mental Illness Southeastern Connecticut Chapter

• Chris Erskine, mental health first aid instructor at Natchaug Hospital

The event moderator will Backus Hospital’s Jim O’Dea, Hartford HealthCare East Region director of behavioral health services.

Registration is requested. To register, call (860) 892-6900. For information, send an email to alice.facente@hhchealth.org.

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