‘We Never Want To Say No’: State Eliminates Funding for Kids In Crisis, Jeopardizing Services

One day after school last week, a New Canaan teen phoned the Kids In Crisis 24/7 hotline because a friend here in town appeared to be suicidal. Familiar with Kids In Crisis because of its TeenTalk program at New Canaan High School, the adolescent connected with caseworker (and TeenTalk counselor) Ed Milton. Within minutes, he met with the troubled youth, performed a full assessment, secured a psychiatric evaluation and resolved the issue by referring to an outside agency. The interaction between a New Canaan teen and Milton—a fixture at NCHS who has earned his position as a trusted adult for scores of local adolescents, such as the friend in this case, by connecting and engaging with them—emerges far more frequently than locals may know. Through TeenTalk last academic year, Milton served 149 NCHS students in individual counseling sessions, according to Kids In Crisis, and cases can touch on everything from family conflict and domestic violence to depression, alcohol and substance abuse, peer and social issues such as bullying, divorce, depression, stress, anxiety and suicide—sometimes resulting in youths spending a night in a bed at the organization’s Greenwich campus (families to this point have not been charged for the service, as the state has been helping by paying a per diem—more on that below).

Heroin and New Canaan, Part 3 of 3: ‘Reach Out to a Person’

Editor’s Note: This is the final installment of a three-part series. The first two parts can be found here:

Heroin and New Canaan, Part 1 of 3: Tracing and Defining a Problem
Heroin and New Canaan, Part 2 of 3: Parenting


On Friday at work, Ed Milton was visited by New Canaan High School students who talked to him about everything from an unfinished school project to bothersome friends and parents. Most of the teens who come to Milton—an outreach worker with Kids In Crisis who’s based in the high school itself—find him through their own friends, and family conflict is a frequent topic of conversation. “Developmentally, they should be looking for their independence, so that is and should be number one,” Milton said Friday afternoon in front of the New Canaan Playhouse, a pack of eighth-graders huddled nearby. Milton recalled how one New Canaan teen described his role: “This kid was so brilliant.