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Thursday, September 7, 2023

September is Suicide Awareness Month, join me this month in spreading awareness and providing resources to individuals, friends, and families to discuss suicide prevention and seek help.

In our district,

Needham has a Community Crisis Intervention Team, led by the Needham Police Department and includes social workers, representatives from the Public Health Department, Council on Aging, Youth and Family Services, Needham Public Schools, and the Fire Department. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the Needham Police Department at (781)455-7570 (911 for emergencies) which now has a full-time Social Worker who is a Riverside Community Care clinician, who can direct residents to services and help coordinate care.

The Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention is hosting several events throughout Suicide Prevention Month including free suicide prevention training, Email medfieldoutreach@medfield.net to learn more. Medfield residents also have access to a no-cost referral helpline with a mental health professional about resources and receive personalized matched referrals, this can be accessed by visiting https://interface.williamjames.edu/community/medfield.

If you or someone you know needs help, Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org to speak to a trained crisis counselor 24/7/365.


District Updates



  • Attend a public meeting on the Needham-Newton Community Way on Thursday, September 7 at 7 pm. The towns of Needham and Newton are exploring the feasibility of a “Community Way” to link Needham Heights with the Newton Upper Falls Greenway. Project background information and meeting registration link can be found, here.
  • Registration is open for the Plugged In Band Program’s fall music classes. Plugged In Band of Needham offers band classes for all ages. Students are grouped into bands by age, skill level, and musical interest. Private lessons are also available. Check out their available programs and register here.
  • BID Needham is offering a grant opportunity in the priority area of Mental Health and Substance Use for those who live, work, play, and learn in Dedham. Between 2024 to 2027, BID Needham is investing approximately $516,000 for its Community-based Health Initiative to implement evidence-based and/or evidence-informed strategies. This competitive RFP process is now open and the deadline to apply is October 13, 2023, by 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Find all the details here. Please note that we will hold a virtual information session on September 6, 2023, from 1:00-2:00 pm Eastern Time (register here).
  • Get involved with the Charles River Center 5K Run/1 Mile Walk on September 24th. The event fundraises for the Charles River Center which serves children and adults with disabilities to help them reach their highest possible level of independence and enable them to lead fulfilling and productive lives. There are several ways one can support the Charles River Center whether it be through participation or donations. The following are some ways you can help with the Charles River Center 5K Run/1 Mile Walk:
  • Participate in the run/walk! Participate individually or on a team, click here for individual registrationclick here for team registration
  • Fundraise for the Charles River Center! Set up a fundraising page, here.
  • Volunteer! Multiple volunteer opportunities are available the day of and the day prior to the event. Click here to sign up to volunteer
  • Spread the word! Letting people know about the event and cause through social media, email, newsletters, blogs, etc.

To learn more about the event, click here.


  • Dover Days is back on Saturday, September 9th! The event will take place at the Dover Town Commons from 10 am to 3 pm. The event will be held from 10:30 am to 12 pm. The event is free to the public and no registration is required. Be sure to swing by my tent to chat or to just say hello!
  • The Dover Cultural Council is asking for community input. The Dover Cultural Council survey consists of five brief questions. The public’s feedback will help the council better serve the community. To fill out the survey, click here.
  • Save the Date! The Dover COA will be holding a Flu Clinic on Friday, October 13th from 10 am to 4 pm. Individuals 65 and older are at a higher risk of developing serious complications due to the flu, take the steps to protect yourself and those around you. COVID-19 vaccine boosters will also be available at the event. Registration for the clinic is required, stay tuned for more information.


  • South St will be closed between Route 27 and Route 109 for line repainting on Thursday, September 7th. Please seek alternative routes
  • Register for Medfield TV’s Scarecrow Spooktacular. The event takes place on October 14 from 12-2:30 pm at Baxter Park, register now to showcase your best scarecrow. To view the event rules and regulations, click here. To access the Scarecrow Spooktacular Registration form, click here.

Norfolk County Arbovirus Report

The hot months of summer bring an increased risk of mosquito-borne illnesses. West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE or “Triple E”) are viruses that occur in Massachusetts and can cause illnesses ranging from mild fever to more serious diseases like encephalitis or meningitis. Mosquito testing for EEE and other diseases began on June 12. This section of Fresh Garlick will share weekly reportings of Arbovirus in Norfolk County.

Risk Levels:

Needham: Moderate

Dover: Low

Medfield: Low

To learn more about mosquito-borne illnesses, click here.

To learn how to protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses, click here.

Statewide Updates



  • $4.1 million in Early Childhood Mental Health and Consultation Grants to be awarded to organizations throughout the Commonwealth. The grants are being awarded to organizations that support the social-emotional development and behavioral health of children in early education and care programs across Massachusetts. To learn more about the grant, click here.
  • $31.5 million in climate resiliency funding to communities to be distributed. For the first time in the history of the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program, two native tribes are receiving funding since eligibility was expanded by the legislature in 2022. The MVP program provides communities with funding and technical assistance to support the climate resilience planning process and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. To learn more about the climate resiliency funds, click here.
  • The season’s first West Nile Virus case was confirmed on August 29th. The two cases were identified in Middlesex Cn an area that is known to be at “moderate risk”. To learn more about mosquito-borne illnesses, click here. To learn how to protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses, click here.
  • On August 24, new pork regulations went into effect in Massachusetts. Under these new regulations, pork products from pigs raised in gestation crates are prohibited in Massachusetts as well as the use of tightly confining cages by local farms. The new regulations require that most uncooked pork sold in Massachusetts (bacon, ham, ribs, cutlets, etc.) come from pigs that were raised in pens with enough space to freely turn around, lie down, and stand up. This effectively bans the use of gestation crates for out-of-state producers selling pork in the Commonwealth. The regulations do not apply to sausages or hot dogs, or other products not considered “whole pork meat”. To read more about the new pork regulations, click here.
  • Veterans exposed to toxic substances while serving are eligible for expansion of VA benefits and healthcare. The PACT Act expands VA benefits and health care for veterans and servicemembers exposed to toxic substances while serving. While there is no deadline to apply for the benefits, veterans, and families will get the most of those benefits if filed by August 9. The PACT Act helps veterans get much-needed help related to health conditions caused by exposure to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. If you submit your PACT Act application — or your intent to file — by August 9, you could get benefits backdated to August 10, 2022 — when the PACT Act was passed.
    • Avoid Scams:
      • Don’t pay to file: It’s free to apply for any type of veterans’ benefits. File your PACT Act claim for free online through the VA’s website or in person at a VA regional Office.
      • Don’t pay for help: Scammers may offer help to you to file your application for benefits for a fee or percentage of the benefits you get, Get free help from an accredited representative, here.

Learn more about the PACT Act, here.

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