Mental Health Destigmatization & Awareness

Members: Madison Bouchard – Liporto, Hannah Brigham, Kevin Cole, Kendall Dapprich, Katherine Dubois, Ashley Leblanc, Daniel Mattson, Chris Mottola

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.

Accomplishments:

  • In the 2018-2019 academic year, the Mental Health Destigmatization and Awareness task force consisted of two main subgroups that each carried out our mission using different strategies.
  • Some things that all members of the task force did at the beginning of the school year was to try to better understand the subject of mental health, as it’s inherently a subjective and complicated matter.
    • This entailed looking into journal articles, researching anxiety/depression management strategies, and discussing our findings as well as our own experiences
  • The subgroup headed by Kendall and Ashley partnered with with three local and state organizations to host three CONNECTS Young Adult Suicide Prevention trainings on the UNH campus.
    • From these events, 31 people learned how to recognize signs of mental health and substance use crises, and how to connect a person in need to resources that can help them get though it
    • Additionally, three people were trained as facilitators of the program, supporting NAMI NH and the Strafford County and Seacoast Public Health Networks in developing a community of CONNECTS program trainers across New Hampshire, strengthening the fulfillment of our task force’s mission–which will continue to be carried out even after its members have graduated
  • The other subgroup’s strategy, in which the rest of us took up, also concentrated on outreach, albeit through different means.
    • From these efforts, our task force developed brochures relating to mental health and the unique traumatic experiences that immigrant populations have to deal with. As such, we made sure to educate ourselves on the particular matter and translated our brochures for Spanish-speakers (images below)
    • Currently, we’re planning on contacting UNH faculty members (and other points of contact) in hopes of receiving advice in distributing these resources
    • Additionally, we’ll be hosting an easygoing outreach service during the week of April 22 in which we plan on discussing mental health, watching related informative videos, and eating pizza with UNH students in Hubbard
  • Thus far, I’d say we’re pretty happy with what we’ve accomplished and learned/taken away from the experience as a whole. We hope that our task force will continue to be able to make a positive impact in growing public understanding and acceptance of mental health issues.