NAMI New Hampshire is grateful for our terrific Board of Directors who work to improve the lives of Granite Staters affected by mental illness and suicide. 
July 23, 2019

Blue (Uniform) Mental Health Matters!

Last week's signing by  Governor Chris Sununu  of SB 59, which included adding PTSD to the definition of injury for first responders in workers compensation claims, marks an important milestone and years of work by NAMI NH and many others to increase awareness of the high rates of depression, trauma, and suicide among law enforcement, firefighters, Emergency Medical Services and dispatchers.  This legislation supports the shared goals of changing the culture of silence, and encou raging help-seeking and support for our first responders. 

Special thanks to Rep. Mark Proulx, Chief David Goldstein, Major (Ret) Russ Conte NH State Police (and NAMI NH Board), for their years of work and advocacy, and who all served on the Legislative Study Committee along with NAMI NH Executive Director Ken Norton.  Thank you also to Senator Regina Birdsell who chaired the commission; William McQuillen from the NH Professional Firefighters Assoc. who brought the bill forward to create the commission, and to Chief Deb Pendergast of the Fire Academy who has championed these efforts for fire and EMS.  Also, thank you to NAMI NH In Our Own Voice speaker (and NAMI NH Board Member) Todd Donovan who as a firefighter has courageously shared his personal experience with depression and suicide attempts with his fellow first responders while giving a clear message that effective treatment is available! 

Addressing mental health needs of first responders saves careers, lives, marriages, and families, and also improves their understanding, sensitivity and compassion when responding to any mental health crisis.  

Restraints Bill (SB 177) Becomes Law

For years NAMI NH, legislators, community mental health centers and other advocates have worked to end the use of restraints when transporting to New Hampshire Hospital or another designated receiving facility. In 2016 a legislative study committee was formed which included then Rep. Tom Sherman and Senator (now NAMI NH Board member) Andrew Hosmer. Recommendations from that committee resulted in a 2017 bill which failed. 

In 2018, Tom Sherman was elected to the NH Senate and vowed to make  this issue a legislative priority. The NH Community Behavioral Health Association brought forward SB 177 and worked closely with NAMI NH, Disability Rights Center - NH, and New Hampshire Hospital Association to successfully pass the bill. It won't completely eliminate the use of restraints, but will be a big step in the right direction. 

Governor Chris Sununu signed the bill into law on July 12th. Special thanks to Pat D for his repeated courageous testimony about being transported, and to Dellie Champagne, Karen Trudel and all others over the years who have testified or worked to change this practice. 

NAMI NH will be working to educate Sheriffs Departments about the new bill.  If you have a good relationship with your local Sheriff's office, please let us know and help NAMI NH set up a meeting.

You're Invited! NAMIWalks NH Kick Off Lunch

Let's rock! Join volunteers, advocates, team captains, family members, and individuals living with mental illness to kick off the NAMIWalks NH season!  Free admission includes lunch from O Steaks & Seafood, keynote from filmmaker Dan Habib, fashion show, Walk Jeopardy, Minute to Win It competition, updates, and opportunity to visit McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center.

NAMIWalks NH Kick Off Lunch
Wednesday, August 7th, 12:00 PM
McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center

Public Policy Update
NH State Budget

Thank you to all who testified and contacted their legislators this session on behalf of mental health and suicide prevention. Your voices were heard, and  NAMI New Hampshire was heartened at the strong support shown by Governor Sununu and bipartisan legislative leaders in addressing many of the 10-Year Mental Health Plan priorities. 

While a strong bipartisan consensus emerged on moving the mental health system forward, there was disagreement over the mechanics of how to fu nd the overall budget, resulting in a veto and the current budget impasse. 

Please consider contacting your legislators and the Governor's office to thank them for supporting funding of the 10-Year Mental Health Plan, while reminding them the current budget impasse is delaying much-needed help for people with mental illness, and their families. Urge lawmakers and the Governor to meet as soon as possible to pass the budget so critical additional services and supports for NH's mental health system can be implemented.

If you have questions, or would like additional information, please contact:

Learn more about the budget process, including steps toward finalizing a new state budget while NH operates for 90 days under current spending levels.
NAMI Will Join Appeal Of U.S. District Court Ruling Allowing 
Short-Term, Limited Duration Plans

NAMI is deeply disappointed in last week's U.S. District court ruling regarding ACAP v. Treasury, in which Judge Richard Leon upheld the Administration's regulation allowing for the sale of Short-Term, Limited Duration (STLD) plans as a substitute for comprehensive health insurance. This rule will harm patients and their families because STLD plans can deny both coverage and care for people with mental health conditions. The following statement is provided by Angela Kimball,  acting CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

"NAMI has spent decades fighting for parity-fair and equal coverage of mental health conditions. We have no intention of stopping until we end discriminatory coverage. This ruling is a step in the wrong direction. It lets junk plans compete with comprehensive health insurance, even though they don't have to provide the same level of mental health coverage-or any mental health coverage at all. This undermines the very intent of mental health parity."

"We will join an appeal of this decision because the health of our nation includes its mental health. It is imperative that insurance plans provide essential mental health benefits for all Americans, plain and simple." 

Organizations that joined the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) and NAMI in filing the original lawsuit included Mental Health America, American Psychiatric Association (APA), AIDS United, National Partnership for Women & Families, and Little Lobbyists.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) in  the Courts

Following a lower court ruling that found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, a federal appeals court in New Orleans has taken up the case of the ACA.  NAMI NH will provide updates as the case progresses.

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. 

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Tackling Mental Health Stigma

Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, background and identity can make mental health treatment access much more difficult.  National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 2008 to start changing this.

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition.  Taking on the challenges of mental health conditions, health coverage and the stigma of mental illness requires all of us. In many communities, these problems are increased by less access to care, cultural  stigma and lower quality care.

The NAM I National docuseries,  Strength Over Silence: Stories of Courage, Culture and  Community  highlights persp ectives on mental health from the African American and Latinx communities. 

Through cand id and courageous stories of lived e xperience, these mental health champions share their resilience and recovery.  Click the image to watch Cleveland Brown offensive tackle Chris Hubbard discuss mental health in his hometown of Columbus, GA.

NAMI Ambassador Taraji P. Henson, recipient of the Rona & Ken Purdy Award, is a strong advocate for #mentalhealth - in Washington, DC, and around the country.  

In the News
Today in NH Emergency Departments...
 24 adults and
0 children
are 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.  

National Family & Community Engagement Conference

NAMI NH's Brian Huckins, Director of Children & Youth Programs, and Michele Watson, NH Family Network Coordinator, recently attended the  National Family & Community Engagement Conference in Reno, NV.

Hosted by the Institute for Educational Leadership, the conference is an opportunity for state leaders, school and district leaders, administrators, educators, community-based organizations, researchers and families to come together and focus on solutions that enhance and expand engagement and improve student success through family-school-community partnerships.  NAMI NH's Children & Youth Programs team supports families across the Granite State.

To learn more about resources & supports, contact NAMI NH'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).

Want to make a difference by telling your story?

In Our Own Voice is an educational presentation given by trained consumers to educate the public on recovery from mental illness.  
The brief (40 to 60 minutes), yet comprehensive and interactive presentation about mental illness includes a video, personal testimony and discussion-enriching participants' understanding of how people with these serious disorders cope with their symptoms, recover and lead productive lives with hope, meaning and dignity. The program also empowers those who are faced with mental illness, and provides living proof that recovery is an ongoing reality. Presenters gain confidence and self-esteem while serving as role models for the community. In Our Own Voice is a NAMI NH recovery education presentation given by trained presenters who themselves have struggled with mental illness and are in recovery.

Throughout the presentation, the audience is encouraged to offer feedback and ask questions. These opportunities for participants lead to a better understanding of what it is like to live with a mental illness and help break down the walls of stigma that surround mental illness. In fact, 85% of those who attend an In Our Own Voice presentation leave with a more positive attitude about mental illness and recovery.

"By telling my story I can help others: that's huge. Before I was always the one being helped." 
(IOOV speaker)

Presentations are available to community, civic and government organizations, law enforcement, healthcare providers, faith communities, students, consumers, and families and friends.

If interested in becoming a presenter, please fill out an application and email to Tricia Ellis. 

For more information, please call Tricia Ellis at 603-545-7270.

NAMI NH Support Group Participant Survey
NAMI NH's annual support group participant survey helps us learn what is going well in the support groups, what you would like to see done differently, and how we can better support our support group participants and leaders. This survey should take less than five minutes of your time. 

Suicide Prevention & Survivors of Suicide Loss

Registration OPEN for NH Suicide Prevention Conference

The 16th Annual State of New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Conference will be held on November 7th at Grappone Conference.  Click for more information and to register.

School Personnel Engage in Suicide Prevention Training

NAMI NH's Elaine de Mello and  Debbie Baird recently trained a number of school personnel from several districts in NH and then spent two days training 14 Connect Suicide Prevention trainers from the following NH schools:  John Stark,  Wilton-Lyndeborough,  Fall Mountain,  Newport,  Weare, and  Henniker Community School.  Newly minted trainers are pictured above.

Upcoming with NAMI NH
NAMIWalks NH Kick Off Lunch
Wednesday, August 7th, 12 PM
On Wednesday, August 7th, 12 PM, we'll ROCK(et) at  McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center with the Kick Off Lunch for NAMIWalks NH! Save the date - more details coming soon.  #HopeRocks

Online registration is OPEN for 2019's 17th Annual NAMIWalks NH:

Veteran & Military Families
NAMI Homefront

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.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Homefront program produces significant benefits for both in-person and online participants, according to a study published in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association.
"We know that NAMI Homefront has helped countless military families across the country and now there is science to prove it," said Angela Kimball, NAMI Acting CEO. "This study reinforces the vital role family, caregivers and friends can play in supporting service members and veterans with mental health conditions."


NAMI NH Connection Support Group
Upper Valley Now Meeting TWICE Monthly

Nashua Connection Group
NEW Location & Time
Day: 1st and 3rd Monday - 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Nashua Public Library (Conference 
2 Court Street, Nashua, NH 03060 )
Contact: Scott Watson at 603-340-6497

NIMH Update

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) provides a monthly e-newsletter with the latest in mental health-related news, resources and grant opportunities from across federal government.

Highlights in the July 2019 issue included:

-- An article about the brain changes that occur during adolescence, the potential for risky behaviors and mental health issues during this time period, and what parents can do to support their teens through these turbulent years.

-- Highlights a proof-of-concept study in which spoken language patterns predicted which people at risk for psychosis would progress to full psychosis within two years with 93% accuracy.

-- This MedlinePlus issue provides information about the importance of postpartum health and the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression. 

Read the full July 2019 update here .
UPDATED Parent & Caregiver Groups
** Please note some groups do not meet in July and/or August - 
please check online for the latest meeting schedule. **
Do you struggle with your child's or teen's behavior?
Please join us at these FREE Parent & Caregiver Groups:
* To learn strategies on how to deal with challenging behavior.
* To learn what resources are available to help you.
* To meet other families who understand your situation.
* To know that you are not alone in this journey.
To learn more about resources & supports in the Granite State, contact NAMI NH'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).

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

Registration is OPEN for NAMIWalks NH 2019!
Last year, NAMIWalks NH shattered records with more than 2,000 participants - let's do it again!  

NH's largest mental health and suicide prevention event returns on Sunday, October 6, 2019.

Team Tommy #5 Comedy Night a Smashing Success!
Congrats and huge thanks to Alyssa Nickerson, Team Captain of Team Tommy #5, on another successful Comedy Night Fundraiser for NAMIWalks NH!

Alyssa's passion is about spreading the word that mental health is just as important as physical health; she is passionate about the work that NAMI NH does in support of this.  Alyssa has taken Parents Meeting the Challenge, Support Group Facilitator training, Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid, in addition to serving on the Grant Oversight Board for NH Family Network.
Thank You, White Mountain Jeeps!
NAMI New Hampshire is grateful to White Mountain Jeeps for their donation of $2,045 from the recent "Go Topless Day 2019" - the donation will be matched with a $500 donation from Extreme Terrain.

(Pictured: Jason Morris, President of White Mountain Jeeps with NAMI NH Director of Development Kristen Welch)

Thank You, Candia Community Woman's Club!
NAMI NH is incredibly grateful to the Candia Community Woman's Club for their recent donation of $10,000 from the group's It's in the Bag fundraiser.

NAMI NH's Heidi Cantin (far left) and Ken Norton (far right) are pictured with representatives from the Candia Community Woman's Club.
Walk for Hope
Thank you to Jessica Grant for her Senior Project: "Walk for Hope 5K."  Jessica began this project to raise awareness of suicide and promote suicide prevention among her classmates and in her town of Litchfield.  Over 50 people came out for the event, and they raised nearly $2,000 for NAMI NH!

(Pictured: Exec. Dir. Ken Norton, Jessica Grant, Dir. of Development Kristen Welch)

Wolfeboro Inn to Host Anthony Bourdain: Producer's Dinner
Thank you to the  Wolfeboro Inn for hosting an important night of delectable dining this Sunday, July 28th, to honor the life and legacy of Anthony Bourdain while promoting suicide prevention awareness.

Parts Unknown director and producer Morgan Fallon and his wife will join in the three course, family-style dinner to honor the legacy of Bourdain. Champagne toast and hors d'oeuvres will be served at 6pm, and dinner will be served by 7pm. As attendees work through dinner, the Fallons will share stories from the many years they spent working and traveling with their friend.  Tickets are $40 - of each ticket sold, $20 will be donated to  NAMI New Hampshire.

All Night Thing 4 Returns in Support of NAMI NH & Waypoint
BBQ Fundraiser for NAMIWalks NH
On Saturday, September 7th, head to Heritage Harley Davidson on your 2-wheeled or 4-wheeled ride to enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch - all donations support NAMIWalks NH! Team RUOK will grill up hamburgers & hotdogs - also available will be pizza, cold drinks, chips & sweet treats.

BBQ Fundraiser for NAMIWalks NH Team RUOK
Saturday, September 7th, 11 AM - 3 PM
Heritage Harley Davidson
142 Manchester St., Concord, NH

The NAMI NH Legacy Circle
Every year, mental illness impacts the lives of at least one in five adults and children in the Granite State.
NAMI New Hampshire is a grassroots organization working to improve the lives of all people affected by mental illness and suicide through support, education, and advocacy. 
Many New Hampshire citizens concerned about mental illness have chosen to make provisions in their wills or trusts to support the work of NAMI New Hampshire, becoming charter members of the NAMI New Hampshire Legacy Circle.  The Legacy Circle recognizes those who have generously included NAMI New Hampshire in their estate planning, and we invite you to consider joining this thoughtful and generous group! 
Ways to Become a Legacy Circle Member:
·         Designate NAMI NH as a charitable beneficiary of your will or trust
·         Name NAMI NH the beneficiary of all or part of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
·         Speak to NAMI NH about how to make a gift that will pay you income for your lifetime
·         Name NAMI NH the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

For more information, or to let us know you have included NAMI New Hampshire in your estate plans, 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.

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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.
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