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Forum, Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day, offer a smile and a word of thanks

Published: 10/9/2021 10:00:10 PM
Modified: 10/9/2021 10:00:11 PM
On World Mental Health Day, offer a smile and a word of thanks

In recognition of World Mental Health Day, we’re writing to mention that our work in “supported employment” at West Central Behavioral Health in Claremont, Lebanon and surrounding towns is an important facet of our nonprofit organization’s overall mission and treatment philosophy.

We’re proud to help people with severe and persistent mental illness who want to work but who need support to develop their resumes, learn interviewing and communications skills, complete job applications, and gain confidence to become more independent. We offer life coaching to help people who may not know that eating right to sustain themselves during a long work day is a learned skill that matters. Or that self-advocacy in the face of overwhelming work assignments is OK.

Every day is a new adventure in watching our clients become more integrated into our communities as they achieve greater social confidence and economic independence through work. Supported employment is good for our clients, good for our communities and good for all of us.

Please, on this World Mental Health Day, be kind to everyone you see working to help others in any way. A smile and a word of thanks make a big difference. You may never know what hurdles someone has had to overcome to get to where they are. Today, in these pandemic times, the challenges faced by many people who want to work and need to work to ensure their mental wellness have never been greater. Thank you.





The writers are, respectively, the director of vocational services and an employment counselor at West Central Behavioral Health.

Corruption has distorted everything

Forum contributor Bob Scobie writes that “Many U.S. citizens’ resistance to the COVID-19 vaccine is due, in part, to distrust in government” (“Americans face crisis of trust,” Oct. 6).

True enough, but that explanation doesn’t really go far enough. It’s stating what has long been obvious — that our political system is corrupt. Politicians are bought and paid for. They openly take bribes. It doesn’t matter if it’s called lobbying instead. It’s the same activity. And it’s not just politics, of course. In my view, virtually every institution and field of endeavor has been corrupted, as well.

The common denominator explaining it was written down long ago, in 1 Timothy 6:10: the love of money is the root of all evil. The greedy, self-interested pursuit of riches has distorted everything. All manner of deceitful, deceptive and harmful practices have been justified by it. It has corroded everything. It’s not unreasonable to question corrupt authority. It’s unreasonable not to.



Commissioner tyrannizes NH schools

The recent New Hampshire Bulletin article, “NH not waiting to limit remote: Commissioner tells schools to abide by rules that have not been approved” (Oct. 2), highlights how New Hampshire’s commissioner of education is attacking the institutions he is supposed to be championing, our community public schools.

The pandemic and the trifecta of Republican control of all the branches of our state government have given the commissioner a flush of power to promote his anti-public-school agenda. As schools have struggled to stop the spread of COVID-19, to keep our children safe, to provide a safety net for those families in need and to continue education from professionally trained and certified teachers, the commissioner continues to put up roadblocks. He promotes vouchers, makes up new rules like this one, and withholds federal funds for school building improvements. The zeal of those wishing to dismantle and defund the public school system and to divert state education trust fund money to home-schooling, private, parochial and unaccredited tuition schools through vouchers is now at full throttle.

Public schools — teachers, administrators and school boards — have been performing a Herculean task to keep children and families engaged in learning and schools safe. Because right-wing radicals are emboldened by not being held accountable for their disruption and threats, public schools and school boards are now under siege. This is tyranny by a minority.

Public community schools are open to all children, have public oversight and accountability, and provide learning that is fundamental to democracy and the American Dream. Our state Department of Education, under the leadership of the commissioner and governor, must make it a top priority to promote, fund and support our public schools, instead of setting up new “one-size-fits-all” state rules to make the job for local public school officials more difficult, distracting, unsafe and contentious.


Georges Mills

The writer represents the Sullivan 9 district in the New Hampshire House.

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