Mental Health Destigmatization & Awareness

Members: Katherine Dubois, Daniel Mattson, Chris Mottola, Charlie Gasperoni, Hannah Flaherty, Gwendolyn Collins, Alex Thorpe, Olivia Dill, Dara McWeeney, Paige O’Neil, and Madi Gould.

To view our member biographies please click here.

The task force meeting over Zoom during the Spring 2021 semester. Not pictured: Charlie Gasperoni & Gwen Collins.

Our Mission Statement:
To change the stigma around mental health promote education in the NH community in order to increase the understanding and acceptance of mental health issues.

A favorite inspirational quote from the task force- we hope for everyone to hear and believe in this:

“Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

~ Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh

This semester the task force split up into the following three subcommittees to best meet our goals:

Blood Drive & Mental Health 5K: Kat, Olivia, Dan, & Dara

Mental Health 5K: The task force created a route around the UNH campus where students and others could walk/run a 5k with the hope that the exercise and fresh air would improve their mental health. The first few individuals who registered even received a newly designed free t-shirt as shown below from the task force. Overall, the event was well received. Participants could complete the 5K at any time in the given time frame (and when reported finishing received a personalized finishing certificate!) and outgoing survey results demonstrated that the 5K helped improve the participant’s mental health.

Blood Drive: Besides exercise, another event that can help boost mental health is doing something nice for others. Donating blood is one such act and the task force has been planning this event for July 3rd at the YMCA in Manchester, NH. (More notes on this event to come afterwards- if all goes well the task force might also organize another blood drive for the UNH campus in the Fall!). For those interested in volunteering please either reach out to Kat Dubois at or find more information regarding this event on the task force Instagram page (linked below)



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Hamel Mental Health Blood Drive @ YMCA

Instagram: Chris, Hannah, Gwen, Charlie, Alex, Maddie, & Paige

The task force wanted to tap into the incredible power of social media and its ability to connect with many individuals all over. This was especially important for the task force considering the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, building a page and interacting with both UNH students and other individuals has been a fantastic experience! The task force has shared original content, connected with many different people, and learned a lot! Please check out our Instagram here. Recent posts:

Mental Health First Aid Event with JR Kuo: Paige & Maddie

Paige attended an event to become certified in Mental Health First Aid and graciously obtained a free event to bring to the task force that focused on mental health through the lens of substance use disorders. The majority of the task force attended the event as well as other invited Hamel Scholars. After the event, the task force reflected on how insightfully the host, JR Kuo, spoke on the interconnections between the content and how another event with JR or similar would be something to explore in the future. For more information about this event, or JR’s contact information, please contact Paige at

During this semester the task force also focused on updating their page on the Hamel Scholar website, attending professional development events, and learning more about each other through fun icebreakers, conversations, and time spent together. As a task force that supports mental health, it was important to also take care of each other as best we could during this time. 

Task force content to explore: Project Precious Sunrise- a collection of mental health PSA posters

Past Accomplishments:

Thank you for visiting the Hamel Mental Health Destigmatization and Awareness task force page! For further general inquiry or comments please reach out to Dara McWeeney at Below are further helpful and associated links regarding mental health. Be well!

If you need to talk to someone regarding any mental health related issue, please call the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the US at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or

If you require support dealing with PTSD, please contact PTSD united:

If you need to talk to someone regarding suicide, please call the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in the US at 1-888-333-AFSP (2377) or via email: OR call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you need to talk to someone regarding sexual assault, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline in the US at 800-656-4673.

The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline in the US is available 24/7 at 1-800-422-4456 or

If you live outside the United States of America, please call your local support services.