Tara’s Talks Mental Health Community Conversations

This new digital series includes conversations with community members, professionals, and individuals sharing their stories about mental health.  The goal of this series is to bring much-needed awareness to these important issues and decrease the stigma around mental health.

Tara’s Talks Mental Health Community Conversations

Tara’s Closet Annual Mental Health Event

Each May for Mental Health Awareness Month, Tara’s Closet hosts an annual event to raise awareness and help break the stigma that surrounds mental health.

For more information on current and past Mental Health Awareness events, click the button below.

Mental Health Event

Tara’s Closet brings mental illness into the open

Inspired by a young woman who lost her life to bi-polar disorder, Tara’s Closet, a Jewish communal initiative, provides free clothes to those in need as it helps those coping with mental illness.

Best Dressed

Tara Savin grew up in West Hartford and attended the Kingswood Oxford School, where she co-edited the yearbook and was voted “Best Dressed.”

She graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies, and stayed on to earn a master’s degree in Mass Communications.

After working at Town & Country Magazine in Manhattan, she completed her Master of Social Work degree at Fordham University and returned to Hartford in 2010 for an internship with Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford (JFS).

That year, at age 38, Tara Savin lost the battle.

Tara Savin of Tara's Closet
Tara's Closet logo

Taking Mental Illness out of the Closet

JFS has launched Tara’s Closet, a program that brings together Savin’s two greatest passions. “Tara was a great humanitarian and she also had incredible jobs in New York in fashion,” says Savin’s mother, Barbara Roth.

Tara’s Closet comprises a dual mission: to provide clothing to JFS clients in a confidential and dignified manner, and to raise funds to spread awareness about mental illness and the related help provided by JFS.

“Our overriding goal is to take mental illness out of the closet,” says Roth. “We hope to break the ceiling on mental health and mental illness in the community because people are very much afraid of it and afraid to talk about it.”

Jewish Family Services clients, JETS participants, and other members of the community who are having difficulty meeting their clothing needs may visit Tara’s Closet when it is open.

Do you need clothing for yourself or your family?

Tara’s Closet at Jewish Family Services serves all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation.

Currently, Tara’s Closet is not offering any in-person appointments to shop in the closet, but we may be able to meet specific requests and offer curbside pick-up to our clients. To speak with someone on our team about the clothing you need, please contact us at (860) 236-1927.

Our donors make this possible.

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of individuals, synagogues, community groups, and businesses, including Congregation B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom in Bloomfield, Rabbi Debra Cantor, and Esquire Cleaners.

To make a monetary contribution to Tara’s Closet, you may donate online through our website.  If you prefer to donate via mail, please make your check out to Jewish Family Services, or JFS, write “Tara’s Closet” on the memo line and mail it to Jewish Family Services, 333 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite A, West Hartford, CT 06117.  If you prefer to donate via telephone, or want information about up-coming drop-off days, please call Patti Weiner at (860) 236-1927, extension 7129.

A Discussion about Mental Health

Mental Health Resources

Mandell JCC – Youth Mental Health First Aid

If you’re experiencing a medical emergency

Always call 911 first if you or someone you love is experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency or may be a danger to someone else.

Call 211

If you need assistance locating long-term mental health resources, talking through a problem, or exploring mental health treatment options, call 211 to speak with a live person who can help.

  • 211 conversations are confidential, can be made anonymously, and are available in 180 languages upon request.
  • If you prefer to text, use webchat, or search for resources online, click here to find more ways to contact your local 211.

 Other Mental Health Hotlines

 You can always call 211 to speak to someone and find local assistance, but there are also dedicated helplines available to anyone in the U.S.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline Live Chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
  • Veterans Crisis Line: call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1; or text 838255
  • Crisis Text Line: text the word ‘Home’ to 741-741
  • The Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ Youth: call 1-866-488-7386
  • The Trans Lifeline: call 1-877-565-8860
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)