Saturday, February 1, 2020

In the News: good timing, Spilka speaks about mental illness

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"It was June 7, 1916, when Anna was born in a tidy house with a farmer’s porch on Franklin’s Chestnut Street to immigrant parents: Her mother, Josephine (Laskavitch) was from Poland and her father, John Chestercove (originally Chestzcovo), was from Russia. It was a household already crowded with seven siblings. 
The girl born that day would live through the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, another world war, the Great Depression, Prohibition, the successful adoption of women’s suffrage, the invention of television, development of commercial air travel, the Civil Rights movement, the coming and going of the Cold War, the arrival of man on the moon, and the rise of the age of technology. 
On Thursday, Town Councilor Debbie Pellegri presented Chestercove, whose married name was Ruo, with the town’s Boston Post cane, officially giving her a place in town history. For the presentation, family members gathered around her bed in the Oak Street house she has called home since 1956. On Friday, family members mourned: Anna Chestercove Ruo had died at the age of 103"
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"State Senate President Karen Spilka knows the challenge of living with a family member who suffers from mental illness. 
Her father battled the condition, a fact Spilka shared during her keynote address Friday morning at the MetroWest Opioid Coalition Legislative Breakfast at Leonard Morse Hospital. 
Spilka said she kept her father’s struggle quiet for years, but finally opened up about it publicly for the first time years ago to reduce the stigma of mental illness. 
During her talk, Spilka announced that Senate lawmakers plan next week to roll out a comprehensive mental health parity and access bill. The goal is to level the playing field for mental health services, compared to the current level of services to treat physical health. She did not provide details of the bill."

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