April 2021/Issue XIX
24/7 Crisis Support Line
April is Alcohol Awareness Month: Substance Use Rising During the Pandemic

Did You Know? New Hampshire has the highest rate of alcohol consumption in the United States measured per capita among ages 14 and up. Vermont ranks 4th. As people deal with the effects of isolation, financial hardship due to job loss, or the loss of a loved one to COVID-19, they all too often turn to alcohol to cope. If you find yourself struggling with alcohol or other substances, depression or anxiety, please contact us to learn whether individual or group therapy might be right for you. There are substance-free coping mechanisms and treatments that work.

Click Here to visit our Substance Use Services web page with contact information and treatment possibilities.

CATV8 presents...

Roger Osmun, PhD, West Central's CEO & President, recently appeared as a guest on CATV8's weekly series Walking Through Life hosted by Linda Carbino. Roger and Linda spent 30 minutes exploring how West Central continues to help people during the pandemic, how we've made some changes to our treatment practices, and an overview of what we do and how we do it individually and with groups.

Roger explored our move into telehealth treatment, how we treat children who are suffering during the pandemic, the importance of online communities during the pandemic, peer specialists complimenting the work of licensed clinicians, the need for Mobile Crisis Services given the increasing numbers of crisis calls to 911 lines, and the importance of feeling comfortable reaching out for mental health services. Linda also stressed the need for connection, and she expressed her appreciation for the work we do to foster personal and community connections.
Click Here to view Walking Through Life now airing on CATV8.
Need to set up your first appointment? Call our 'New Client'
Appointment Line

Teletherapy and in-person appointments

COVID-19 Update

Our Pandemic Pioneers...

and Masked Marvels Continue to
Lead the Way
More than 60% of our staff is now vaccinated as we move closer toward the CDC's goal of a 70 - 80% vaccination rate. We're also helping our clients with vaccine information and education to ensure they don't contract COVID-19.
Whether they're getting vaccinated or practicing good pandemic hygiene, our staff, donors, and volunteers know we're not out of this dilemma yet. Continuing with frequent hand washing, mask wearing, distancing by at least 6 feet from others when in public, staying away from large group gatherings, and getting vaccinated once eligible top our list for getting safely through this pandemic.

It's also important to take breaks, get outside, move your body as you are able, pursue a hobby, make some art or music, dance if you can, smile for fun, and remain (or become) part of an online community to stay connected with others.

For CDC information on Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines, Click Here. Even though more of us are fully vaccinated, the CDC still recommends we follow all the pre-vaccine safety precautions including wearing masks to prevent spreading the virus.

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A Collaborative Pandemic Effort Coming Soon...
Tethered by Light:
An Exhibition at AVA Gallery, Inspired by Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

Two local non-profits collaborating? Yes, and we're delighted to partner with AVA Gallery and Arts Center to present this show.

Here in downtown Lebanon, NH, we're nearly next-door neighbors with AVA, so why not collaborate? Especially now when the pandemic is almost begging us to develop our community spirit and connections. Mental Health Awareness Month is coming up in May, and we know art is not only good for the soul but also a powerful form of therapy.

You are invited to visit AVA's group exhibition, Tethered by Light, which runs from April 23 - June 4, 2021 in the Carter Kelsey Lobby Gallery at the entrance to AVA.

A talk about the show, mental illness, and art as therapy is planned for Saturday, May 15th at 4 pm with West Central clinician Anna West, MA, LCMHC, and Julie Puttgen, MFA, MA, CMHC an artist and expressive arts therapist with the Center for Integrative Health. (Zoom/online video/in-person instructions for the talk with Anna and Julie are forthcoming.)

For more information, please visit AVA's Exhibition & Events web page by Clicking Here.
Art will be available to purchase including these two pieces

Left: Pandemic Self-Portrait by Samantha Weibkin, 12 7/8 x 16 1/16, Gouache, cotton fabric, embroidery floss and ribbon, $220.00

Below: Reflection by Stephanie Gordon, 8×10, Encaustic, $420.00.
If you're reading this and are able to make a gift to us, please do. We're a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit. Our mission is to promote the health and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by providing treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders, while helping to reduce the stigma associated with these challenging conditions. Your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law, and gifts of any size make a difference to help us save lives. Thank you!

Fan mail...

We're thrilled to share a Valley News letter to the editor from Kit Hood of Sharon, VT who penned this missive on March 21 which has inspired others to follow her lead. Thank you, Kit!

Help West Central Behavioral Health

West Central Behavioral Health is a precious community resource for individuals, families and children who are experiencing depression and other mental health issues. The nonprofit community mental health care provider serves 2,000 clients each year totaling 55,000 client visits in Grafton and Sullivan counties. A huge percentage (85%) of its clients are either on Medicaid or are Medicaid-eligible (Medicaid covers only about 70% of the actual cost). They are the most vulnerable among us. West Central extends nearly $600,000 in charitable care each year. There is a huge gap between what New Hampshire Medicaid pays and what West Central must raise from private sources.

A November article in Lancet Global Health stated that for every dollar invested in treatment for depression and anxiety there is a $4 return in better health and productivity.

With COVID-19, the need for services provided by West Central Behavioral Health is greater than ever. The staff members are dedicated to working with their clients. They are often paid less than they can get in the private sector. As a former HR director at West Central, I know that many new-hires actually took a cut in their former pay to do this important work!

If you receive a stimulus check and are fortunate enough to be able to give some or all of it to a worthy cause, I suggest that you consider donating to West Central Behavioral Health. You can do so by visiting the website wcbh.org/donate/. I am delighted that I am able to do so.

We're Hiring!

With Spring in the air, now just might be the perfect time to find a new job, or a first job, or how about a job you truly love. These are not just any jobs, but jobs that make a difference in people's lives. Case Managers. Clinical Secretary. Mobile Crisis Clinician. Residential Specialist. Peer Support Specialist. Registered Nurse. And more.

Please visit our Careers web page and click on Career Opportunities or simply Click Here to view our latest job openings. It's easy to start your application online. This could be your exciting professional next step, and we'd love to have you join our team...especially if you're passionate about helping others!
Yes, we're open...
If you aren't yet a client and 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.

Closing Words...

A Shout-Out for our Claremont ACT Team

(sorry, we couldn't resist)

A recent gift made by two donors arrived with the following note: We are so appreciative of all that the ACT Team and West Central provides for our family and community. It is nice to be able to send some positivity back. You all make a huge difference in the lives of so many. Cheering you on through these challenging times!

It's touching and humbling to be recognized by community members for what we do in the community. Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm for our mission and work. Let's all join together to bring compassionate, evidence-based treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders out of the shadows and into the light.
Share This Newsletter...You Might Save a Life
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This newsletter is sent monthly to all West Central staff, Board & 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 disorder center.

When people in need know who we are,
they'll contact us when they need help.
(for our past newsletters click here)
24/7 Crisis Support Line
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.