A Valley News Publication

N.H. students lead charge to raise awareness, reduce stigma of mental illness

Kudos to these Granite State kids who are doing what they can to raise awareness about mental illness and remove the stigma that surrounds it.

While she was in middle school, Hannah Guillemette launched her “I’ve Got Your Back” campaign, which she calls an “anti-bullying and kindness” campaign. Now a freshman at Bedford High School, Hannah is continuing to work on spreading her message of being “a voice for those who need one.”

“It got too much,” Hannah, who has her own experiences with bullying, told the Union Leader. “People have to stop being mean to people.”

From the story:

She speaks to student groups, handing out blue IGYB wristbands and sending home a message to parents that encourages them to talk about kindness with their children. And she’s enlisting younger kids at middle and elementary schools to serve as IGYB “ambassadors.”

Also on Monday, another student-led campaign was unveiled in Concord. This one features high school athletes “in an effort to raise awareness of mental health issues in their schools,” according to the Union Leader.

R.E.A.C.T. is a partnership among Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state Department of Education and New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association. It’s an offshoot of the Change Direction initiative spearheaded by former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick, who is now senior director of public affairs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

It’s a simple idea but one Broderick hopes will be effective: Posters featuring smiling student athletes with the message: “You’re never alone when you have the whole team behind you.”

The campaign encourages students who are struggling with emotional or mental health issues to seek help from their peers and caring adults. Students from Nashua High School South are featured on the prototype poster.

Way to go, y’all!

Read the full Union Leader story here.

Breaking: D-H, N.H. ‘buy peace’ in staffing settlement

Read the document above (click the image for a larger view).

Dartmouth-Hitchcock officials and the state of New Hampshire have reached a settlement in the New Hampshire Hospital staffing dispute.

Earlier this year, the Lebanon-based health care system was accused of failing to provide an adequate number of psychiatrists to staff the hospital, as mandated by a contract.

The settlement, reached on Monday, requires D-H to pay a $75,000 credit to the state and provide up to $77,500 for an independent review of the level of care offered to patients at the psychiatric hospital from November 2016 through April of this year.

Neither party admitted any wrongdoing, but both said they wish to “buy peace.”

Stay tuned for a full story in Thursday’s Valley News.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock names female CEO

Dartmouth-Hitchcock has selected a successor for outgoing CEO James Weinstein.

Dr. Joanne Mather Conroy, a 61-year-old who currently is the CEO of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., has been named to the post, D-H said in a Thursday news release. She will take over in Lebanon on Aug. 7.

Conroy is an anesthesiologist and a 1977 graduate of Dartmouth College. She was selected from a pool of more than 45 applicants for the job.

“Coming back to New Hampshire is like a homecoming for me,” she said in the news release. “It will be wonderful to be back in a place I love, but more wonderful still to have the privilege of serving an organization I’ve long admired as a leader in patient-centered care and the evolution of care delivery.”

Read the full story here.