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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hauhuth to End 24-Year Run at Positive Directions

Marty Hauhuth, former Westport First Selectwoman who has been executive director of Westport-based nonprofit counseling center Positive Directions since 1991, has announced her retirement.

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Marty Hauhuth: helping thousands “makes everything worthwhile.” Contributed photo

The board of directors of Positive Directions will celebrate her retirement and her contributions to the mental health and addiction counseling center on Wednesday June 3, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm in Saugatuck Congregational Church’s Fellowship Room.

Members of the public are invited to attend. Please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Board members are also assembling a book of tributes to Hauhuth and those who would like to contribute are asked to send them to the same address.

In addition those who would like to honor her and her work can make a donation to Positive Directions, in her name. With state and federal funding for Positive Direction’s work diminishing each year, the board said it relies heavily on tax-deductible donations to make up the shortfall.

Founded in 1971, Positive Directions provides exceptional mental health and addiction counseling and is the go-to source of alcohol education/substance abuse prevention, education and support programs in Westport, Weston, Wilton and Fairfield.

Town-specific surveys administered to high school students and their parents inform the public, town boards and local agencies about current actions and attitudes regarding risky behaviors.

The 2015 Positive Directions survey of Westport’s students (grades 7-12) and their parents was recently presented to the Board of Education. Following are some of the results achieved which the Positive Directions board said was in large part due to Hauhuth’s efforts:

• Since 2000, tobacco, alcohol and marijuana youth use has been steadily declining in Westport
• Past 30-day use of alcohol has decreased dramatically in grades 7-10
• Parent disapproval continues to be an important factor in youth’s decision not to use alcohol and marijuana
• From 2011-2014, Westport youth early use of alcohol decreased substantially
• Westport youth marijuana use has declined and overall use is lower than in some neighboring towns

Regardless of one’s ability to pay, Positive Directions provides evaluations and referrals for adults, adolescents and children, and treat anxiety, depression, and addictive or destructive behaviors, including gambling. 

When asked what she would miss most, Hauhuth said, “Most of all, I will miss seeing the people who have come to us recover and thrive. We’ve helped thousands in the 24 years I’ve been at Positive Directions. Knowing that makes everything worthwhile.”

In addition to her work at Positive Directions, Hauhuth has served as co-chair of the Baron’s South Committee, which has worked to build senior affordable housing on the town-owned property.

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Posted 05/27/15 at 08:40 PM  Permalink



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