New Hampshire's First-in-the-Nation Primary is Tuesday, February 11th!

  This presidential primary, let's continue to elevate the importance of improving the mental health service delivery system, suicide prevention, and research by asking candidates key questions about mental health services:

Bird-Dogging Basics (Get Your Question Heard!)
January 31, 2020

Public Policy Update
NAMI New Hampshire Identifies 2020 Legislative Priorities
In addition to advocating for mental health priorities at the national level, NAMI NH's 2020 legislative priorities here in the Granite State include:

Pharmaceuticals & Pricing 
  • Addressing rising prescription prices in NH, to ensure pharmaceutical treatment options are available to all.
Suicide Prevention Measures
  • Extreme Risk protective orders (temporary removal of firearms for individuals who are dangerous - especially as a suicide prevention measure).
  • Waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm.
  • Medicaid to schools.
  • Funding relative to multi-tiered systems of support.
  • Coverage for children's early intervention services.
  • Provision of special education services for older students.
First Responders
  • Death benefits in instances of suicide loss.
  • Psychological exams.
  • Public review of officer-involved shootings.
  Medicaid Block Grant
  • Opposing the Medicaid Block Grant proposal in favor of a more effective multi-tiered approach for the statewide mental health system. 
NAMI New Hampshire Responds to Mental Health Parity Examination Results Released by New Hampshire Insurance Department
On January 27, 2020, Acting New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Alex Feldvebel made public the  results of three examinations focused on compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA/Parity Act) of 2008.  These market conduct examinations, the first in any state to look at parity in MHPAEA provider reimbursement practices, focused on companies participating in New Hampshire's Health Insurance Marketplace.    
Under the Parity Act, health insurance companies are required to provide coverage for mental health (MH) and substance use disorder (SUD) services at an equal level as those services provided for medical and surgical (M/S). 
For the past several years, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has released national studies and research demonstrating the disparities relative to insurance company reimbursement practices for mental health and substance use disorder as compared to medical and surgical procedures.  The results of this New Hampshire market conduct analysis are consistent with the  types of disparities which NAMI has reported on nationally.
Ken Norton, Executive Director of NAMI New Hampshire (NAMI NH), stated, "These issues are complicated and we've seen across the country, companies struggling to come into compliance with federal parity laws.  While the findings of significant disparities in New Hampshire are troubling, we're fortunate to have companies like Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim who although not in agreement with the findings, have been willing to extend themselves and to, in this case, identify constructive solutions which will improve parity and access issues for individuals seeking mental health services in New Hampshire." 
In an example of successful partnership and collaboration, for the past several years the New Hampshire Insurance Department has been convening the Mental Health and Addiction Services Advisory Committee to assist with providing input on these matters.  NAMI NH is appreciative of Acting New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Alex Feldvebel's active leadership and participation, from the inception of the committee.  NAMI New Hampshire, as well as Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim, are active members of the committee which meets next on February 14, 2020 for a formal review of the results of the market conduct analysis. 
Norton remarked, "NAMI New Hampshire is grateful to the New Hampshire Insurance Department for their leadership in working to address parity issues by conducting this analysis.  The far-reaching impact of parity disparities is a significant contributing factor in workforce shortages among mental health and substance misuse treatment providers in New Hampshire.  These disparities may also be a contributing factor in the shortage of psychiatrists locally and nationally, as medical school students with significant student loan debt contemplate lower reimbursement rates for psychiatry, as compared to other specialty areas."
NAMI NH Advocacy Sponsor: 
General Federation of Women's Clubs
The General Federation of Women's Clubs recently made a $10,000 donation to support NAMI NH's advocacy efforts. This donation is part of the President's Project to Nurture Good Mental Health Through Awareness, and made possible through the Candia Community Woman's Club and their "In the Bag" fundraising.  Throughout the next year, clubs around the state will work with NAMI NH to raise awareness and funds. 

In the News
Yesterday in NH Emergency Departments...
 39 adults and
5 children
were waiting for psychiatric hospital care.

NAMI New Hampshire  can connect those impacted by long ED waits with information, resources and support.  Click here to learn more. 

NAMI NH continues to make the ED boarding crisis a top priority of advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals and families affected by mental illness and suicide.  

Made possible by a five year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), NAMI NH is hiring a Project Coordinator (PC) to implement Project deliverables as indicated in the work plan and ensure work is consistent with the goals of the NH Suicide Prevention Plan and the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The PC will work closely with Project partners, key stakeholders, and collaborators; and will assist with the development and implementation of community-based suicide prevention protocols. 

Read full job description and apply online.

NAMI NH is searching for a detail-oriented, organized individual with a positive and flexible approach to problem solving and decision-making. The staff accountant must demonstrate proactive communication skills and be able to meet deadlines and reporting time frames. Knowledge of computerized accounting systems, and the ability to gather and analyze detailed accounting information to ensure timely and accurate reporting of financial data are important qualities. Heavy emphasis on month end closing procedures, and account reconciliations. 

Image source: Getty

(full-time - salaried, exempt)

The Family and Community Support Specialists (FCSS) will provide 1:1 support and education to families/primary caregivers of children, birth to age 8, with Serious Emotional Disturbances (SED) to improve mental health outcomes by adapting the NH Wraparound Practice Model. The FCSS will establish support  groups and family education programs in Manchester. 

  • Carroll County/Conway Area
  • Claremont/Upper Valley
  • Coos County/SAU 7
  • Greater Nashua 
Mental Health by the Numbers

Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental illness each year. It's important to measure how common mental illness is, so we can understand its physical, social and financial impact - and so we can show that no one is alone. These numbers are also powerful tools for raising public awareness, stigma-busting and advocating for better health care.

To connect with resources & supports in the Granite State, contact NAMI New Hampshire's Info. & Resources Line at or 1-800-242-6264 (ext. 601 for general inquiries, ext. 602 to get info. for individuals 18+, ext. 603 to get info. for children/youth under 18).

Suicide Prevention & Survivors of Suicide Loss
Upcoming with NAMI NH

Family-to-Family Coming to 

Family-to-Family is an education program that is FREE for family members, partners, and friends of individuals 18 and older, who have a mental illness.

The Family-to-Family course is taught by local, trained volunteers who have family members with a mental illness.  You will learn about these illnesses and their treatments, how to improve communication with your loved one, solve problems, find the help you need, and take care of yourself.

Derry Family-to-Family Class

Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:30 pm (starting March 11th)

Contact: Nancy Hollinshead at 631-987-3063


Portsmouth Family-to-Family Class

Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:30 pm (starting March 25th)

Contact: Pam Brazeau at 603-502-6580 


Nashua Family-to-Family Class

Mondays starting March 30th

Contacts: Norma MacKinley-Smith at 603-882-6771 or Pam Burns at 603-888-6219

It's Your Move - Advocacy Trainings 2020

Do you want to learn how to better advocate for yourself or a loved one at the doctor's office or at school?  Or how to support or argue for a cause or a policy change in your town or at the state level?  Then NAMI NH's  It's Your Move Advocacy Trainings 2020 are for you!  

Parent & Caregiver Group Monthly on 2nd Wed.

New GREATER MILFORD Parent & Caregiver Group  

 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley 
56 Mont Vernon Street, Milford NH

For more information:

**If this is your first time attending, please contact us to confirm time and location and to let us know you are coming.

Monthly FEP/ESMI Stakeholder Meetings

All are welcome to attend the Monthly FEP/ESMI Stakeholder Meetings.  These meetings typically take place on the 2nd Tuesday, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm at NAMI New Hampshire. To learn more or to RSVP, please message Michelle Wagner .

Veteran & Military Families

Registration OPEN for NAMI Homefront Online!

NAMI Homefront is a free class designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country.

NAMI Homefront Online classes meet weekly in a virtual classroom, so participants experience the same level of interaction and learning as traditional in-person classes.


NAMI NH Support Groups are a place to make important connections to others who:


- understand the challenges you face and the opportunities ahead

- feel the same way you do

- have had the same experiences

- will help you learn new coping skills

- will share their successes and strategies with you


Through affiliates around the state, NAMI NH offers supports groups to family members and parents who have a loved one with mental illness, as well as individuals living with mental illness. 


Find a support group near you.

Family Support Groups - for family members and friends of adults with mental illness

Parent Support Groups - for parents of children/adolescents with serious emotional disorders

Peer Support - information on support centers and groups for adults with mental illness

Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL) - listing of support groups for adults who have lost a loved one to suicide

NAMI NH's Online Groups

NAMI New Hampshire offers four unique online groups - they're places to find peer support, share experiences, offer encouragement, and pass along resources.  These closed Facebook groups require an add from admins - click each link below to learn more and request membership.  

Don't hesitate to contact with any questions. 

Development News
Save the Date!
18th Annual NAMIWalks NH
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Concord, NH

Make plans to join us at New Hampshire's largest mental health and suicide prevention event!

Family-friendly, dog-friendly, free, and FUN - we look forward to seeing you at the 18th Annual NAMIWalks NH!

Walk Committee meetings start back up soon!  If you're interested in volunteering to help plan another record-breaking NAMIWalks NH, please contact Brittany Porter.

Make an Impact
Did you know there are a variety of ways you can make a transformational gift to NAMI New Hampshire?
  • Join the NAMI New Hampshire Legacy Circle by including us in your estate planning, giving a lasting gift to help us continue providing support, education, and advocacy well into the future.
  • Consider giving a gift of stock and potentially avoid paying capital gains tax.  Click here to learn more about the tax benefits of donating stock to a charity.  Instructions for transferring a gift of stock to NAMI NH are available here.
  • If you are age 72 or older, IRS rules require you to take required minimum distributions each year from your tax-deferred retirement accounts.  This additional taxable income may push you into a higher tax bracket, and may also reduce your eligibility for certain tax credits and deductions.  Making a pre-tax charitable donation directly to NAMI NH can eliminate or reduce the impact of this income.
  • Stacking your gift may help you exceed the new standard deduction.  This method of giving allows you to combine several years of charitable contributions in a single year, maximizing your potential tax benefit. 
NAMI New Hampshire was recently honored with a Nonprofit Impact Award from the NH Center for Nonprofits. As the former Executive Director of NAMI NH and a father of a daughter with mental illness, one might think I'm biased when I say that the award was definitely well deserved.  However, it only confirmed our belief that regularly giving to NAMI NH through our retirement program and adding NAMI NH as a beneficiary into our will is the right thing to do.  With our gifts, and those of others, NAMI NH can continue to be good stewards of its resources, putting them to work for individuals and families affected by mental illness and suicide. Giving is an honor, especially when we see that what NAMI NH does works. Yet, they have more to do. Together, our collective resources ensure NH has an accessible, quality mental health and suicide prevention delivery system for Granite Staters.  
~ Michael and Saundy Cohen

For more information, or to discuss additional opportunities, please contact Kristen  or call 603-225-5359 x350.  Sample bequest language is available on our  website .

NAMI NH Corporate Sponsor Partners
NAMI New Hampshire is grateful to our Corporate Sponsors and Members for their steadfast commitment to improving the lives of Granite Staters affected by mental illness and suicide.   #hopestartswithyou

For information on  Corporate Sponsorship, or to discuss additional partnership opportunities, contact Kristen Welch, CFRE, Director of Development, at or 603.235.5359 x350.

Mark Your Calendar

BEDLAM: Free Film Screening
Tuesday, March 31st, 6 PM
Red River Theatres, Concord

Filmmaker and practicing psychiatrist, Ken Rosenberg visits ERs, jails, and homeless camps to examine our national mental health crisis. Rosenberg follows the poignant stories of people grappling with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other chronic psychiatric conditions, whose silence and shame often worsen the suffering.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion.   Bedlam is sponsored by  NAMI New Hampshire  and  Riverbend Community Mental Health .

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The preparation of this newsletter was financed under an agreement with the State of New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health, with funds provided in part or in whole by the State of New Hampshire and/or the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
NAMI NH | 85 N. State St. | 603.225.5359 | |