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Forum, May 9: Local resources for mental health help


Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Local resources for mental health help

Because May is Mental Health Month, and because 46.6 million adults in the United States experience a mental health condition in any given year, I want to share some local resources for families looking for support, information, education and advocacy opportunities for themselves and for their loved ones with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

These illnesses are treatable, but fewer than half get the help they need. Earlier efforts can save lives and reduce suffering.

Here are some ways to find help and hope.

■ The National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI-NH (naminh.org) and NAMI Vermont (namivt.org), are statewide organizations that provide information, classes, training and support groups.

■ The NAMI Upper Valley Affiliate Support Group is for families and friends of adults who have or are coping with symptoms of mental illness and is led by NAMI-trained family member volunteers. Attending a support group is a form of self-care and a way to learn from others facing similar challenges. There are two meetings a month, on the second Monday and the last Wednesday, both from 5:45-7:45 p.m., at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

■ The NAMI Claremont Family Support Group meets on the first Thursday of each month, from 6-7:30 p.m., at Valley Regional Hospital, in the Buckley conference room.

■ The NAMI Connections Peer to Peer Support Group is for adults with a mental illness who support one another by sharing stories with a focus on wellness. This meeting is the second Monday of each month. from 5:45-7:15 p.m., also at DHMC.

See uvmentalhealth.org for contact information for these groups (click on “Support Groups”), as well as resources and events related to mental health topics.

DONNA STAMPER

Grantham

The writer is a volunteer with the NAMI Upper Valley Affiliate Support Group.

Historical society boasts new exhibits

The Hartford Historical Society is excited about improvements to our facility and new exhibits that highlight the history of the town. Renovations are in progress to bring our facility up to ADA codes, including the first-floor bathroom and the addition of an entrance ramp in the rear of our building. Exhibits are changed periodically and members and the public are invited to visit and view them. Watch for the “Open” flag on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

The annual meeting of members (with refreshments) will be held on May 19, at 2 p.m., at our facility at 1461 Maple St. in Hartford Village. An open house will begin at 1 p.m. and the public is invited to attend, tour our building and visit our new exhibits. There will be a table with historical books and artifacts available for purchase by donation. We also hold open houses on the second Sunday of each month, from 1-4 p.m., through September.

We are also open by appointment by calling 802-296-3132 or 802-280-2221 We will welcome several school groups during the next few weeks. It is always exciting and rewarding for us to share our history and artifacts with the students.

Volunteers are always welcome and there are many areas where support is very much appreciated.

JUDY BARWOOD

Hartford

The writer is the president of the board of the Hartford Historical Society.

N.H. must curb political spending

On the subject of “pay-to-play” politics, the late Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H., said the following: “Supreme Court opinion notwithstanding, corporations are not defined as people under the Constitution, and free speech can hardly be called free when only the rich are heard.”

Granite State voters have been asking Congress to pass a constitutional amendment on political spending since 2012. This effort has been driven by a frustration with the flood of money into the election process from special interest groups, wealthy individuals and corporations based outside New Hampshire. Opinion polls show strong support across all voter segments for a constitutional amendment to limit campaign spending and clarify that constitutional rights apply to people, not corporations.

To date, 82 New Hampshire municipalities have passed local resolutions seeking to reform our government so that it works “for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community,” as required by Article 10 of our state constitution. Cornish passed a resolution at our 2013 Town Meeting urging the New Hampshire Legislature to call upon Congress to establish that rights are established for people, not corporations, and that money is not speech.

Now the New Hampshire Senate can put our entire state on record by passing HB 504 in the next few weeks. The Senate passed a similar bill unanimously four years ago. It should pass HB 504 this session. If you agree that it’s time to end the big money campaign funding system and partisan gerrymandering, please ask your state senator to vote for HB 504.

JUDITH KAUFMAN

Cornish