Struggling teens invited to free support group

Eight years ago when Ally Kernan was a student at Fairfield Warde High School, she and her friends were experimenting with drugs and alcohol. What began as an unhealthy coping technique spiraled into a heroin addiction.

Now a young adult in recovery, Ally and her coworkers at are giving back to the Fairfield County community by launching a free support group for teens struggling with risky behaviors including substance misuse, depression, anxiety and self-esteem.

Beginning Feb. 16, a free SMART Recovery support group for teens ages 16 to 18 will be held every Friday from 3:30-5 p.m., at Wakeman Hall in the First Congregational Church, 148 Beach Road, Fairfield. Teens are invited to join the trained young adult facilitators from to learn positive ways to cope and effective ways to gain control of their lives. Refreshments will be offered.

If you are struggling, or know someone who is, Ally and her co-workers encourage you to reach out and find out if a SMART Recovery group could be helpful. Contact Ally at

In addition to free weekly meetings, there also will be monthly social activities to be chosen by the group members. A Family and Friends Group also will be held to offer support to loved ones.  

This support group is being launched with seed money from the CT Recovery Oriented Support System for Youth (CROSS), a project of the state Department of Children and Families and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Read more about SMART Recovery at is Connecticut’s online peer support community developed by teens and young adults in recovery to guide their peers in the search for mental wellness.