March 2021/Issue XVIII
24/7 Crisis Services Support Line
NHPR Podcast: Pandemic Takes A Toll on Kids' Mental Health & Their Families

As kids struggle through remote learning and isolation, many are feeling lonely and anxious.

NHPR's radio program, The Exchange, recently covered the topic of kids' mental health during the pandemic. West Central's child clinician, Erin Barnett, PhD, was one of three speakers.

In this podcast, Erin and her peers offer solutions and resources to help. They also discuss family resources and family stress, supportive extended families, and even getting out into sunlight to help kids remain resilient. Also, the importance of talking with your children about their mental health and how to normalize conversations about stress and anxiety are addressed. "Are you feeling sad?" "Are you feeling angry?" "Why?" These are good questions to ask your child.

You can listen to the podcast by Clicking Here.

In the News...

Due to increasing numbers of crisis calls to local towns and police departments, the Valley News spoke with Roger Osmun, PhD, our President & CEO for a recent article which reads, in part:

West Central Behavioral Health is also anticipating state funding for a mobile crisis response team this summer. The team would go to those experiencing a mental health crisis, assisting first responders and treating people outside of a hospital or clinical setting.

“The old emergency service system was really designed to be more reactive, meaning we helped people once they made it to the emergency room,” said West Central CEO Roger Osmun.

Because of the nonprofit’s large coverage area — from Unity to Orford — Osmun also hopes to work with Lebanon, other municipal partners and donors to seek additional funding to supplement whatever the state provides. Ideally, he wants professionals to be able to respond to a crisis within 30 minutes, which would likely require teams to be stationed in Lebanon and Claremont.
Need to set up your first appointment? Call our "New Client" Appointment Line:


Teletherapy and in-person appointments

Our Pandemic Pioneers...

Are Leading the Way
Let's be Safe: Mask-up, Sleeve-up, Vaccinate!
Another Pandemic Pioneer and a Masked Marvel taking their health and yours seriously, wherever they roam. Kristine, above left, and Doug, above right, recognize the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing masks. We're doing both to protect our clients, our colleagues, and ourselves from COVID-19. With new strains appearing, we remain vigilant and careful, with masking up, frequent handwashing, and keeping 6 feet apart as our guide -- oh, and being nice to one another, too.

Nearly 2/3rds of our employees have had their first shots, with close to half (45%) having had both shots. We're on our way to herd immunity as quickly as possible. And we're talking with our clients about getting vaccinated if they're eligible. The sooner we can return to normal, the better, but we're still being cautious.

For CDC Guidelines on how fully-vaccinated people can visit with others, Click Here. Even though many of us are fully vaccinated, we'll still be wearing masks at work since we consider our clinics public settings. Safety first!

Follow and Like us on Instagram and Facebook, to celebrate our Pandemic Pioneers as they work tirelessly to battle COVID-19 and help others in need.

NYTimes photo by Jo Zixuan Zhou
NYTimes Article:
Struggling to Meet Demand

Photo by Jo Zixuan Zhou

A national publication writes about something we've known for a long time that's being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health providers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand for their services. Click Here to read the NYTimes article (no subscription needed).

We can't offer care to everyone who calls, but we respond quickly to all who call our 24/7 crisis services support line. And while we'd like to treat everyone in need of mental health services in our region, our resources are not infinite. We extended close to $600,000 in charitable care last year to people in dire financial need. As a community not-for-profit, we do our utmost to raise money from private sources to help cover these costs because Medicaid only covers about 75% of our actual costs of care.

If you're reading this, and you are able to make a gift to us, please do. We're a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit, so your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law, and gifts of any size make a difference to help us save lives. Thank you!
On a YouTube Channel Near You...

We're excited to share a new video featuring Pete and Ruth Bleyler, our current and former Board chairs, on our Donate web page. You can view their conversation with us by Clicking Here to learn why Pete and Ruth have remained so involved in helping West Central, and why they chose to join The MacNamee Society with bequests in their wills. Thank you, Pete and Ruth.
Honoring Hugh and Mimi MacNamee: The MacNamee Society

New on our Donate web page is the addition of The MacNamee Society.

Leaving a bequest or making another type of planned gift to West Central could be a tax-wise way to support our mission and work during or after your lifetime. Dr. Hugh MacNamee and his wife, Mrs. Mimi MacNamee, believed in and supported our work during their lives and beyond with legacy giving from The MacNamee Memorial Trust. Dr. MacNamee was West Central's first medical director starting in 1978. He remained involved with us for many years.

Another recent addition to our Donate web page is our Planned Giving brochure. Click Here to read the information it contains to help decide if making a planned gift is right for you.

When arranging a planned gift to us, you'll create a lasting legacy that will continue to help future generations of people in need far beyond your lifetime.
7 Tips to Combat Social Isolation

Occasionally, we find an article or online piece that strikes a chord. In this case, it's from Rush University in Chicago. Our favorite tip? Well, like the photo shows, it's all about taking outdoor breaks -- or bringing the outdoors inside if you can't get out. Click Here for this timely article.

We're faced with many challenges during this pandemic and throughout our lives. As the article wraps up with tip #7, it reminds us that if you're struggling, you don't have to cope with your feelings all by yourself. Seeing a mental health professional can help.
We're Open...
If you aren't yet a client, and you want to make your first appointment, call us at: (603) 542-5128.
In-Person and Teletherapy Visits Available.
Our offices are in Claremont, Lebanon,
and Newport, NH.
Share This Newsletter: You Might Save a Life!
To Sign Up For West Central News: Click Here

This newsletter is sent monthly to all West Central staff, Board and Committee members, and our many friends and supporters with heartfelt thanks. Please share it with your friends and family so people remember our name and the work we do as this region's community mental health and
substance use center.

When people in need know who we are,
they'll contact us when they need help.
(for past newsletters click here)
With Our Gratitude

We'd like to extend our abiding appreciation and best wishes to Hope, our monthly Newsletter producer, grant writer, and all-around wonderful colleague here at West Central as she moves to a new position at another non-profit. We've learned a great deal from you, and wish you well, knowing your passion and compassion will make a positive difference in everything you do. Thank you for your years of service to West Central's mission and cause!
Nurturing Dreams...Transforming Lives...
West Central Behavioral Health serves clients in the Upper Valley and Sullivan County, and has offices in Lebanon, Claremont, and Newport, NH.
We are a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.