Leadership Seacoast Tackles Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Dover, New Hampshire, January 31, 2020— Leadership Seacoast, a non-profit, community engagement program, recently hosted its annual Health and Human Services day at Wentworth Douglass Hospital. The event was sponsored by Riverwoods, Exeter Hospital, and Wentworth Senior Living.

Presentations discussed the correlation between mental health and substance abuse and recognized the need for access to resources and services within the area. Tym Rourke, Director of New Hampshire Tomorrow, a charitable foundation working to strengthen communities and inspire greater giving, opened the day-long event reviewing mental health and substance abuse topics. The class also  heard from former Chief Justice of the NH Supreme Court, John Broderick, Jr. now serving as the Senior Director of Public Affairs for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. Broderick is leading Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s R.E.A.C.T. Mental Health Awareness Campaign which aims to connect with students, educators, parents, businesses and communities, to change the conversation on mental health and to help reduce stigma. 

The R.E.A.C.T campaign was developed to provide clear next steps to take when someone sees some, or all, of the 5 signs of emotional suffering in another person. Broderick recounted from his own personal experiences the stigmas associated with mental health and the lack general awareness and warning signs of those suffering with mental illness. “We have the ability to change the culture and the way mental health is viewed,” said Broderick.

The day ended with a debriefing on the current opioid crisis from representatives of SOS Recovery, Hope on Haven Hill, Crossroads, and the Dover Police Department. 

Thanks to Leadership Seacoast event sponsors Riverwoods, Exeter Hospital, and  Wentworth Senior Living and yearlong sponsors Bottomline Technologies and Kennebunk Savings, Leadership Seacoast is able to provide memorable, life-changing experiences to each student, create opportunities and connections with alumni, offer scholarship grants, and continue to attain great speakers and locations. For more information about Leadership Seacoast and becoming a corporate sponsor, head to www.LeadershipSeacoast.org or contact Lori Waltz Gagnon, Executive Director, director@leadershipseacoast.org.

About Leadership Seacoast

Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Leadership Seacoast program provides existing and future community leaders the opportunity to engage with the people and organizations that shape the Seacoast’s economic structure and social fabric. Leadership Seacoast offers its participant’s unique insight into how business, community, and politics integrate to create successful societies and how small actions can have a significant impact on the greater global good. Leadership Seacoast alumni make a difference in their communities through networking, active involvement, and personal action. Since its inception in 1988, Leadership Seacoast has created a strong foundation that values diversity of opinion and consensus building to find solutions to challenges affecting the Seacoast’s community and its future. For more information about our programs please contact us at director@leadershipseacoast.org or check out our website at www.leadershipseacoast.org

For More Information:

Lori Waltz-Gagnon, Executive Director


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