On June 29,2017, Headrest, Inc. held their 2017 Annual Meeting at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The Honorable John T. Broderick, Jr., former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court was the guest speaker for the event. Judge Broderick made a powerful case for addressing the stigma surrounding behavioral health and the need to shine a spotlight directly on it. He has been traveling the New England area openly discussing the path that brought him in to become a strong advocate for mental health-his son’s battle with both profound mental health and substance use issues. (More information can be found in this New York Times article.)
Judge Broderick message was simple- we must talk about mental health. We must openly address mental health issues in our families, our schools and our towns. We must stop hiding from the truth. We must “know the five signs”:
1. Not feeling like you?
2. Feeling agitated?
3. Are you withdrawn?
4. Caring for yourself?
5. Feeling hopeless?
Per John, “Mental illness is the only illness from my childhood that remains in the shadows. We need to change the culture surrounding emotional suffering and we need to begin by letting everyone know its five most common signs and that early detection and treatment yield great success.”
Headrest remains committed to helping change the culture surrounding behavioral health. Headrest has been a part of the Upper Valley community since 1971, with a crisis/suicide line that has been in continuous service 24/7 since 1971. Headrest also provides low intensity transitional living residence for those in substance abuse recovery and outpatient counseling to provide the support needed to stack on the recovery track. We hope to do more in the coming years to help change the culture surrounding behavioral health!
A special thank you to Geokon for sponsoring this event and to DHMC for generously providing the venue. And, thank you Geisel School of Medicine’s Schweitzer Fellowship Program, in collaboration with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Community Health, and Hope for New Hampshire Recovery for the Photovoice display, Picturing Recovery In Our Community.