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Wrong Cheryl Hastings?

Cheryl Hastings

Service Director of DDS Services

Reliance House Inc

HQ Phone: (860) 887-6536

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Reliance House Inc

40 Broadway

Norwich, Connecticut 06360

United States

Company Description

Reliance Health has been providing community mental health services since 1976. When we first opened, we occupied a small space within the Shannon Building in downtown Norwich. We were operating on a minimal budget and were staffed by volunteers. The Leis ... more

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Background Information

Web References (11 Total References)

Service Director: Cheryl ... [cached]

Service Director: Cheryl Hastings

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Service Director: Cheryl Hastings

Contact Us [cached]

Service Director: Cheryl Hastings

Cheryl Hastings, left, and Mary ... [cached]

Cheryl Hastings, left, and Mary Kay Kelleher star in the two-woman play "'night Mother." Buy Photo Bookmark and Share print this article

Cheryl Hastings was gearing up for a change. She was retiring from her job as an administrator at Norwich's Reliance House, which provides serivces for people experiencing mental health, addiction, and developmental disabilities. She was preparing to move from her Norwich home down to Florida.
But there was something to do before she left.
Hastings - who has been involved with local theater, through Chelsea Players - was talking with her friend Mary Kay Kelleher about doing a drama. (They had previously been involved in several comedies together.)
Hastings says, "My two loves are what I do as a living, which is work at a mental health agency, and as an avocation, I do acting.
"For both Mary Kay and I, not in our immediate families, but suicide has touched our lives," Hastings says. "Not only, obviously, in my job but also in people we know. I have a girlfriend whose daughter committed suicide from longtime depression. It's just so devastating."
While there is growing public awareness of mental health issues, Hastings says suicide remains more of a taboo topic.
"We don't know what to say to someone whose child has killed themselves. What do you say to them? 'You did the best you can?' They must be thinking, 'Well, then I guess it wasn't good enough,' you know? There's an awful lot of guilt left behind for the survivors," she says.
Hastings, who was born and raised in Norwich, has worked for 20 years at Reliance House. She oversees programs that serve people with developmental disabilities as well as mental health issues.
Hastings describes the role she plays in "'night Mother" as a quirky individual. The character, now in her 60s, was married at age 15.
"She doesn't know a lot. She's not a worldly woman. ... She's doing the best she can with what she knows," Hastings says.
And now the character is trying to prevent her daughter from killing herself.
Hastings says of the play, "It's sad, but it's so real. ... It's just about people and what we go through in life and the secrets (the characters) have."

Accessibility Statement [cached]

Cheryl Hastings, Committee Chair

860-887-6536 x-212

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