Change can be difficult, frightening, even overwhelming.  But it can also be invigorating as one takes on the challenges at hand with a new sense of optimism, renewed strength and focus to make a difference.

Today was one of those days where I felt all of those emotions at once.  Sitting in Representatives Hall at the New Hampshire State House listening to leaders of the Change Direction New Hampshire initiative talk about where we are today and the path that lies ahead with respect to changing the culture of mental health care in New Hampshire and in this country.  This morning, I was honored to be invited to listen to former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick talk about his own personal experience with a family member who suffers from a mental illness. 

It was a powerful example of just how important a story can be, how it can capture in one vignette the struggles and challenges so many face, not just that one person.  And as Judge Broderick and others leading the initiative both locally and nationally discussed, there is so much we must do to bring mental health care out of the shadows and into the mainstream.  There isn’t one of us who isn’t touched in some way by mental illness…either personally, a family member,  friend, neighbor, or co-worker.  And it’s going to take all of us, working together, to make progress.  But that’s what Granite Staters do…they come together to solve the challenges in their communities. 

So find out how you can be part of this effort to change direction to change the culture of mental health in New Hampshire.  Log on to the website,, and take part in this important initiative.


Steve Ahnen