November 2020/Issue XVI
24/7 Emergency Help Line for Those in Crisis:

Giving Tuesday - Global Movement for Good Here at Home
Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving, is coming soon! On December 1, people from all over the world will join together to give their time, voice, kindness, skills, expertise, and resources to their favorite organizations. We hope you'll include us on your list of worthy organizations!

The effects of the pandemic on our collective mental health has become more and more apparent as time wears on. West Central is here to help kids, adults, families, and elders deal with isolation, the loss of loved ones, stress-related anxiety, depression, substance use, suicide, and other mental illnesses.

You can donate online to West Central now, here, or wait until December 1st. Either way, we thank you for your generosity!!!
Need to talk? West Central can help! Call our Appointment Line:


For a teletherapy or in-person appointment
November is
National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

Did you know that those with Alzheimer's disease are at high risk of developing depression? In addition, symptoms of Alzheimer's and depression have significant overlap, sometimes masking one or the other.

Alzheimer's is not a mental illness, but a progressive brain condition and one of the most common forms of dementia. The most common Alzheimer's symptoms are memory loss, decline in intellectual functioning, and changes in personality. Developing these and other symptoms can affect the self-esteem and confidence of the patient, sometimes resulting in depression.

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's, consult a doctor or call West Central's Appointment Line (603-542-5128) if you suspect that depression may be an issue. Identifying depression in someone with Alzheimer's can be difficult, since many Alzheimer's symptoms, such as social withdrawal, trouble concentrating, and loss of interest in activities are also experienced with depression. A professional evaluation is necessary to make this diagnosis and start treatment.

For more information on Alzheimer's Disease, visit the National Institute on Aging's website, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's, go to Getting Help with Alzheimer's Caregiving.

Photo Credit: William Krause
Do You Have a Story to Tell?

Have you been diagnosed with a mental Illness? Are you a clinician with thoughts to share? Do you have family or friends living with mental illness? We want to hear your story! Sharing these thoughts and experiences helps to decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourages compassion and acceptance. You don't have to use your name, and we can change identifying information. Email for more information, or call Hope at (603) 448-0126.

It's Fine, I'm Fine:
Northern Stage & West Central Collaborate

Live theater returned to the Upper Valley with the performance of It’s Fine, I’m Fine, a one-person play written and performed by Stephanie Everett from October 7 to 25. The play revolved around Everett's experience as a Dartmouth varsity soccer player, the four concussions she suffered, and the effects of post-concussive syndrome on her mental health.

Dr. Diane Roston, our Medical Director, participated on a post-performance panel discussion about the symptoms, effects, and treatment of post-concussion syndrome with other experts. You can view the recorded version HERE.

It's Fine, I'm Fine will be streamed through November 29th. You can buy tickets to stream the show online HERE.

A HUGE thank you to Stephanie Everett, Northern Stage, and Dr. Roston for shedding light on this important topic!

Photo credit: Kata Sasvari
Now This is GOOD...

The Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation will match your annual gift to West Central between now and December 31st. Each gift will double, until we reach $50,000 in giving. We're not there yet, so your gift is twice as important! If you are able, please consider making your gift today so we can accept the full matching amount -- and double your support. We are grateful to Dorothy Byrne for her belief in our work and her willingness to support community behavioral health so close to home. Please Click Here to make a gift today!
A "Wild" Time for Arborview Residents
You may not know that West Central operates a residence in Newport for 16 adults living with severe mental illness. But we do! In a clean, comfortable atmosphere, residents socialize, play games, engage in therapy, cook and dine under the kind supervision of Jolene Longtin, the residential manager, and other staff.

Life has changed for these clients since COVID-19 came to town. Recreational outings have had to be put on hold, and visits sharply curtailed. With devastating outbreaks in many nursing homes and other residential facilities, we can't be too careful! The unfortunate side of this is the isolation and limited activities in which residents may now engage. But these clients recently were treated to a special, safe, day out.

We all need a little self-care now and then, and those living with mental illness are no exception. Having had no hair appointments since the lockdown was announced in March, our Arborview residents were a shaggy lot. Enter 1 Wild Hair Salon, at 1 Sunapee St. in Newport! Salon staff blocked off an entire day for our Arborview residents to get haircuts without exposure to other clients. We are so grateful to the kind stylists at the salon for making this happen!
A New Holiday Hopefulness: Dealing With a COVID-19 Holiday Season
According to mental health experts - including those on staff at West Central - holiday depression is real. With COVID-19 now dominating the news and dictating how we spend our time, it's more important than ever to be alert for symptoms of depression and know some of the most effective ways to make it safely through the holiday season.

Click Here for an article titled Holiday Hopefulness, written by Dave Celone, our Director of Development and Community Relations, that offers some insightful ideas for coping with, and embracing, this coming holiday season.

From all of us at West Central Behavioral Health, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Find what brings you joy, build it into your daily routine, and practice self-care!
Headlamps for Winter Weather
As the daylight hours grow shorter and the pandemic threat persists, our community-based clinicians must still meet with clients outdoors after work and after school. But light has become an issue. The solution? Headlamps!

Thanks to funding from Upper Valley Strong, Greater Sullivan Strong, and a generous discount from the Eastern Mountain Sports retail store in West Lebanon, we're now able to supply our clinicians and clients with headlamps for outdoor therapy sessions. Funding from "the Strongs" was critical. And EMS stepped forward to offer us the discount on headlamps. Peter, the EMS store manager said, "We know West Central is doing great work in the community. We wanted to play a part. And headlamps will get people outdoors, which is what EMS is all about."

Well said, Peter! There's nothing better than a true community partnership. Now our clinicians can stay safe while treating clients outdoors later in the season. And think of the fun our child clients will have exploring the outdoors with their therapist while a headlamp lights the way! 
Kids and COVID: It's Okay to Need Help!!

Are your kids trying to navigate school during the pandemic? Or trying to learn, virtually, at home? Changes in structure, socialization, and the fear of illness can all affect your child. Sometimes the effects are hard to miss: tears, tantrums, difficulty concentrating, and fighting with siblings can all signal stress. Sometimes it's more subtle: withdrawal, substance use, and an unwillingness to respect household rules or Covid-related safety precautions.

We have Child and Family therapists who can help. Whether you live in Sullivan County or the Upper Valley area, we are accepting new clients. West Central takes Medicaid, commercial insurance, and has a sliding-scale for fees, so don't feel you have to handle this by yourself. We're here to help you, your child, and your entire family. Photo Credit: Kelly Sikkema
We're Open...
To make an appointment call us at: (603) 542-5128
In-Person and Teletherapy Visits Available
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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)

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.
WCBH is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization.