June 2021

Investing in Our Children and Families
-by Kim Firth, EH Program Director

Investment in children and families is an investment in the Granite State’s short- and long-term future. When we invest in systems that strengthen families and support children’s healthy social-emotional development, we not only create an environment for kids to flourish, we also create an environment for our economy to thrive.

As a state, we have all weathered through a lot this past year. Job loss and the repercussions of the economic shutdown continue to be felt by New Hampshire families. In tough times we lean on family and friends and those stalwart institutions that we have come to rely upon, like public education. COVID-19 separated us from those lifelines impacting children and families’ mental health and well-being in profound ways. New Hampshire’s children are struggling and deserve our support.

As our state and our nation struggle to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, we need to make smart investments in our future – investments that get families back on their feet, kids back in the classroom, and our economy firing on all cylinders.
Federal Funds and the State Budget:
Seizing the Opportunity
"The next State Budget will come at a critical time in the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and will help determine the extent to which the recovery is inclusive and equitable.

The federal government has enacted key investments, but the State has and will continue to have a critical role to play in helping ensure needs are met, particularly for the most vulnerable and underserved Granite Staters.

Alongside the potentially transformational federal funds coming to New Hampshire, the State Budget and current revenue surplus present a substantial opportunity to invest in our communities and our families."

-Phil Sletten, Senior Policy Analyst, New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute
Public Education: Meeting the Moment

“At no time in the history of public-school education has there been greater demands, and higher expectations placed on the institutions that support New Hampshire’s most valuable resource … children.

Our school districts are the fabric of a community, weaving community and families together to ensure that are our state and country’s future is supported by students who exhibit stellar citizenship and critical thinking.

As Superintendent of Schools, it is crucial that resources are available to meet the diverse needs of students from Preschool through High School that address their academic, social, emotional and physical needs. As schools respond to the impact of the pandemic, more than ever the behavioral needs of our children must be addressed through effective interventions and support that will require a significant fiscal response.”

-Kathleen Murphy, Interim Superintendent, Concord School District
Investing in an Equitable Public Health System
“Over the last 15 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated many of the social and economic challenges facing Granite State children and families. Boosted by federal funding, the next State Budget, currently being developed by the New Hampshire Legislature, represents an important opportunity not only to overcome the ongoing impacts of COVID, but to create a more equitable public health system that increases access to needed services and improves the health and wellness of all Granite Staters for years to come.”

-Jake Berry, Vice President of Policy, New Futures
Expanding the System of Care for
Children and Families

The budget offers the opportunity to create and sustain adequate funding dedicated to care for children with behavioral health needs and their families.

I think we are at a significant time in New Hampshire where we have an opportunity to look at what has been accomplished with the expansion of the system of care work and how that can be used to create a mental health system that is the hallmark of care in our country.  

-Jodie Lubarsky, Child, Adolescent and Family Services Director, Seacoast Mental Health Center
Impressive Entries in 2021 Magnify Voices Expressive Arts Contest
Magnify Voices Peoples' Choice Award: "Dear Younger Me"
by Amy and Erin Murphy

The Third Annual Magnify Voices Expressive Arts Contest culminated in a unique and fun-filled "drive-in" awards ceremony at the Derry-based Tupelo Music Hall. The safe and socially-distanced May 20 outdoor event featured a big screen where all finalists showcased their work and where dignitaries such as Chief Justice John Broderick and NH Kid Governor Charlie Olsen (among others) were on hand to present awards and prize money.

Middle and high school youth were invited to submit short films, creative writing, music and artwork that expresses hope and concern about mental health issues. The judges had their work cut out for them as they reviewed 43 entries from students all across the state.

"The first two years of the contest were more about awareness of mental health issues, but this year's entries told personal stories. Our judges were blown away and had a really hard time selecting the winners," said Michele Watson of NAMI NH and Magnify Voices Committee Chair.

"These kids are speaking up and we need to listen. As we looked at the entries coming in, we were in tears as we saw the bravery and the powerful messages. Our youth are truly amazing."
Good Health and Realized Potential for All