Honoring Ingrid Gillespie of Communities 4 Action

Kudos to Ingrid Gillespie, executive director of Communities 4 Action, which is a Regional Action Council of the CT Dept. of Mental Health serving Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and New Canaan.

Ingrid’s highly productive non-profit program provides services to people of all ages and cultures, to non-profit, for-profit and government agencies alike, always at no cost.

These services are provided in the form of professional training and capacity-building for staff working in the fields of health, mental health, addiction services, education and gambling.

Money expended in this program is raised by grants almost exclusively written by Ingrid.

Few know that Ingrid has repeatedly declined salary increases so that her meager resources can go to fund the services and serve the people about whom she is so passionate. Ingrid is solely about “the mission” of strengthening local efforts to reduce substance misuse.

“I know what Ingrid does and I know that she works virtually around the clock for her modest income in order to help others,” said Stephanie Paulmeno, Chairman of Communities 4 Action who has worked with Ingrid since the organization was known as the Lower Fairfield County Regional Action Council.

Ingrid was instrumental in starting a Tri-Council of all the other Regional Action Councils in the State, but a vast majority of her work has been locally. Ingrid and her husband Ed, both Canadians who just became US Citizens, live in Stamford.

“She always stays in the background and lets others take the credit for her ideas and her work achievements,” Paulmeno said.

On Monday, Stamford Mayor Martin issued a proclamation recognizing Ingrid for her outstanding achievements. According to Paulmeno, the proclamation marks the first time Ingrid has been recognized for her work.

Mayoral Proclamation: Communities for Action/Ingrid Gillespie, Executive Director

Whereas: The City of Stamford is proud to honor Communities 4 Action, formerly known as The Lower Fairfield County Regional Action Council, for its decade of prevention services to greater Stamford ; and

Whereas: During the last 10 years Ingrid Gillespie, Executive Director of Communities 4 Action, has devoted extensive hours of her own time to humbly re-create this organization to be a force in effecting positive life-style changes in our Stamford at-risk populations of all age groups and cultures; and

Whereas: The affiliating agencies that comprise this Regional Action Council of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has grown to include local community partnerships, treatment providers, parents, youth groups, educators, law enforcement officers and agents, health, mental health and addiction specialists, public health providers, the media, faith-based organizations, bipartisan elected officials, State commissioners, and multicultural people of all ages; and

Whereas: Communities 4 Action initiated and maintains numerous public health and prevention initiatives in Stamford at no cost to the City including regional legislative events, advocating for policies to address addictions, mental health and gambling prevention strategies, suicide prevention, post-vention and mental health first aid programs in Stamford, organizing and providing TIPS training to alcohol servers and retailers to reduce underage drinking, creating culturally competent prevention programs for our multicultural communities, bringing smoking cessation support initiatives to people with mental illness and substance use disorders, creating medical CEU programs at Stamford Hospital on prevention and screening for mental illness and substance abuse, creating a Region 1 Problem Gambling Awareness Team, creating Lunch & Learn Community Education Programs for capacity-building, for coordinating the CT Medication Drop Box Pilot program and bringing it to Stamford, and providing no-cost technical assistance to local coalitions for data-driven planning and capacity building; and

Whereas: Communities 4 Action has created a force that motivates changes in people’s at-risk behaviors, and trains professionals in best-practices,

NOW, THEREFORE, I David R. Martin, Mayor of the City of Stamford, hereby proclaim June 15, 2015 to be