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June 24, 2022

The Connecticut Historical Society Receives Prestigious AASLH Award of Excellence for Mental Health Exhibition







Connecticut Historical Society  Receives Prestigious 2022 AASLH Award of Excellence for Mental Health Exhibition 

 Nashville, TN – The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) congratulates the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS), located in Hartford, CT for receiving an Award of Excellence for Common Struggle Individual Experience, An Exhibition About Mental Health presented by Hartford HealthCare Institute of Living. The Award of Excellence is part of the AASLH Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation of state and local history. 

This exhibition seeks to create understanding of how people have struggled with mental health throughout history in order to help us support ourselves and each other today. Common Struggle Individual Experience, An Exhibition About Mental Health explores how society has sought and continues to seek care for the mind and mental health. Letters, photographs, and other artifacts help share the experiences of Connecticans from the past. Oral history interviews, recorded in 2020 and 2021, share the perspectives of people today. 

CHS Executive Director and CEO Robert A. Kret believes that this exhibition brings an opportunity to expand the conversation about mental health and its integral place in our lives.  

Kret said, “Many people are personally impacted and have a strong interest in mental health. Others may have little direct experience with mental health challenges but may know someone who is struggling or wants to understand more about this topic. At the same time, mental health has long been a subject that is overlooked or stigmatized. However, when you begin to have honest conversations, it becomes clear that our stories unite us in ways we may never have realized.  

“History and cultural institutions are serving as resources for the community in ways that you might not expect. In addition to preserving and presenting the history of Connecticut, we hope to provide a space for dialogue for the community. This is an opportunity for the CHS to be viewed as a safe space, a resource, and to encourage productive conversations around mental health. We are honored to receive this prestigious award from the AASLH.” 

This year, AASLH is proud to confer 53 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. 

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to 

About Connecticut Historical Society

The Connecticut Historical Society ( is a privately funded, independent, not-for-profit educational organization that includes a museum, library, the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center, and the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program. Founded in 1825, the CHS is Connecticut’s statewide historical society, and a Smithsonian Affiliate. At the CHS, we cultivate understanding of the history and culture of Connecticut, and its role in the United States and the world. Through our collections, research, educational programs, and exhibitions we reflect the past, actively engage with the present, and innovate for the future.  

About AASLH 

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), a national nonprofit association, provides leadership and resources to help the history community thrive and make the past more meaningful for all people. AASLH serves the tens of thousands of history organizations, professionals, and volunteers around the country who help people of all ages develop critical thinking skills and understand how learning history helps society make progress toward justice. Through research, advocacy, and our field-leading professional development program, AASLH advances public history practice and connects history practitioners to critical issues in the field and to one another. For more information about AASLH visit 

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