Pledges Commitment to Help Remove Stigma of Mental Health

Concord - The New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA) is pleased to announce its support for the Campaign to Change Direction New Hampshire, the first state-wide effort of the Campaign to Change Direction, a national initiative to change the culture of mental health in America. 

At its meeting held last week, the New Hampshire Hospital Association Board of Trustees approved a resolution to endorse the Change Direction New Hampshire Campaign, pledging its support to the Campaign in an effort to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and embrace one’s emotional well-being as well as their physical.  The Campaign aims to change the culture of mental health by creating a common understanding of the five signs of emotional suffering, as well as a culture that openly accepts and addresses mental illness.

“We couldn’t be more supportive of this effort, and are extremely proud to be part of the conversation around mental health and helping to remove the stigma around this issue,” stated NHHA President Steve Ahnen.  “Our members are committed to raising awareness around the signs of emotional suffering among their patients and their families, so that they can get the care and support they need.”

Created by Barbara Van Dahlen, PhD, President of Give An Hour, a non-profit that brings volunteer mental health professionals together to provide for the mental health needs of those who have served in the military and their families, and the lead organization behind the Campaign to Change Direction, Change Direction New Hampshire is being led by John Broderick, former NH Supreme Court Justice, and Peter Evers, CEO of Riverbend Community Mental Health Center. 

“There is so much we must do to bring mental health care out of the shadows and into the mainstream, and we’ll continue our efforts in support of this campaign so that we can help make a difference,” stated Ahnen.  “I commend Judge Broderick and Peter Evers for their leadership in co-chairing this initiative in New Hampshire.  Their leadership, and the personal experience of Judge Broderick in particular, are essential as we work to bring people together to help remove the stigma of mental health for individuals throughout New Hampshire.”