Libraries Launch Program to Promote Mayor’s Wellness Campaign Activities

KEEPING WELL: Mayor Mark Frieda participates in a book discussion focused on mental wellness as part of the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign event at the Princeton Public Library.

Anne Levin

A series of events in support of the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, focused on the mental health of families, children and individuals of all ages, are underway in and around Princeton Public Library.

From book discussions and readings to hula hoop parties and bracelet making, the schedule includes many approaches to maintaining mental health. The project grew from the original idea of ​​a three-book discussion to become a major focus of the library since the fall.

“It was a simple concept that bloated,” says Janie Hermann, the library’s adult programming manager. “We are committed to it through May 2023 and may continue beyond that, but we don’t know yet.”

The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign is a voluntary program of the New Jersey Healthcare Quality Institute in partnership with the New Jersey Federation of Municipalities. In 2018, the campaign rated Princeton as the best “healthy town” among his three rankings. But in the past three years, the municipality has fallen into a ‘healthy town to watch’. The idea is to push it to the top.

“Mayors can choose to participate, but not all towns can,” said Hermann. “I understand that the mayor is trying to take us to the next level.”

Mayor Mark Freda joins the book discussion. The first discussion was his September 21st topic, maybe you need to talk to someone By psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb.

“This series builds on the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign initiative launched last year by Department of Health staff to combat social isolation in Princeton,” Freda said in a press release. “With the help of the Princeton Arts Council and the Princeton Senior Resource Center, we fostered community connections through arts and gardening. I am happy to continue engaging with residents through discussion of books and sharing of human experiences.

All sessions are led by the library Staff members and local community leaders who are experts in their field. Hermann will meet at 11 a.m. on his Sept. 21 (virtual discussion will take place at 7 p.m. via Google Meet) as Executive Director of Corner House Behavioral Health, where he will lead alongside Dave Errickson. The focus of his second book discussion on November 17th at 7pm is Together: The healing power of human connection in a sometimes lonely world, By Dr. Vivek Murphy. Whitney Ross, Executive Her Director of Trinity Counseling, will guide you along with the library staff.

Last spring, Herrmann became aware of Frida’s efforts to end social isolation due to the pandemic through partnerships with the Arts Council and the Princeton Senior Resource Center. When she ran into him at an Earth Day event held at her Herrontown Woods, they began talking about collaborating on some book discussions.

Hermann took the idea back to the library staff and it grew. A committee was formed to help select the books. “We definitely wanted to have a youth component, and during the bimonthly book discussion months, we wanted to have activities,” she said. I got

The first activity associated with these will be Mindful Moments Storytime on Saturday, September 10th at Community Park North/Petranello Gardens. Intended for children aged 3 to her 8 and their families, it includes books, songs, rhymes and activities that focus on mindfulness and different aspects of nature.

Beginning September 15th, the virtual story room on the library’s YouTube channel will feature special edition storytime shorts focused on mental health and emotional literacy for young children and their families. hurry up!a book about slowing down By Kate Dopilak.Additional releases include when sadness is at your door By Eva Eland on Oct. 13, and All Along November 10th.

Two events on Saturday, October 1st will mark World Hoop Day. His classes for kids ages 8 and up in the community room and his hoop party for all ages at Hines Plaza. The event is designed to encourage fun and physical activity as a way to increase well-being.

Teens and adults can make diffuser lava bead bracelets in the community room on Saturday, October 22nd at 1:30pm. “Research shows that writing and receiving letters and cards increases well-being and reduces social isolation,” reads the list of events at

“What started small has become a major library initiative involving all departments,” says Hermann. “We are looking at how all of this can come together to help everyone feel better.”

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