New Canaan YMCA Partners with Silver Hill Hospital

The New Canaan YMCA and Silver Hill Hospital are proud to announce their recent collaboration to strengthen support for those in our community recovering from substance use disorders and primary mental health diagnoses. In an effort to empower patients and provide additional support for success, the Y will offer a complimentary three-month membership as a part of Silver Hill’s Intensive Outpatient Programs. The initiative serves to provide patients with a wellness-focused component encouraging the development of sustainable healthy routines, providing support for managing primary mental health diagnoses and recovery success.

According to Silver Hill Hospital’s 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment for Fairfield County, 16.2% of adults received a mental health diagnosis such as depression and anxiety. The assessment also reported 6.6% of adults experienced alcohol dependence or abuse, 10% tobacco use, and 9% illicit drug use.

According to Yale School of Medicine’s 2018 study researching the association between physical exercise and depression, an average of 45 minutes of exercise three to five times per week improved mental health symptoms over the course of a month.

Each of the 75 exercise types recorded through the study proved to benefit those experiencing poor mental health days. The study concluded that the strongest associations with improved mental health were experienced by those who participated in team sports, cycling, aerobic and gym exercise. Team sports posed an additional advantage over other exercise types by easing symptoms through reducing social withdrawal and isolation.

The Y’s motivating social environment embodies an inclusive team atmosphere, providing a variety of ways for members to connect and achieve healthy lifestyles together. Physical exercise opportunities include recreational sports like basketball and pickleball, indoor and outdoor cycling classes, a large selection of aerobic equipment and group classes, as well as six personal fitness areas throughout the facility.

Studies show that regular exercise not only eases primary mental health diagnoses but is also effective and persistent treatment for those with substance use disorder. According to Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can help individuals with substance use disorder to release endorphins, take their mind off the cycle of negative thoughts, and can help build confidence, increase social interaction, and provide a healthy way to cope. Additional benefits include stress reduction, better sleep, increased energy, and improved mood.

“Silver Hill Hospital is so glad to be able to partner with the New Canaan Y to offer this additional wellness support for our patients,” commented Susannah Lewis, MPH, Director of Community Relations at Silver Hill Hospital. The Y’s role in Silver Hill’s Intensive Outpatient Program provides patients with the confidence, support, and guidance to establish healthy, manageable routines to supplement each of their journeys to mental health management and substance use recovery.

“We are extremely proud and pleased to be partnering with Silver Hill Hospital. This collaboration fosters the Y’s holistic approach to wellness, helping individuals to achieve a healthy spirit, mind, and body. The Y’s wellness programs and facility will serve as a perfect complement to Silver Hill’s outpatient program, strengthening the overall well-being of all participants,” shared Margaret Riley, Executive Director at the New Canaan YMCA.

Silver Hill is an independent, not-for-profit psychiatric hospital that is nationally accredited by the independent Joint Commission. Silver Hill has been a standout among the top psychiatric hospitals in Connecticut and beyond, for adults and adolescents, since its founding in 1931. To learn more about Silver Hill Hospital and the services it provides, visit