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Letter: The importance of family leave


Sunday, April 15, 2018

The New Hampshire Public Health Association submits this letter in strong support of the family and medical leave insurance program outlined in House Bill 628. This program will strengthen families, support a more productive workforce and contribute to the overall health of New Hampshire.

Research shows that family-friendly work policies have many positive health effects, including a reduction in chronic stress. With a program like this in place, caregivers don’t have to risk losing a paycheck so that they can help a parent recover from surgery, bring a child to doctors’ appointments or even allow themselves to recover from an illness. When caregivers’ stress levels are reduced, there are significant reductions in depression, child abuse, and chronic disease among adults.

A family and medical leave program is a critical tool to help our children grow up healthier, and keep our workforce and economy healthy strong. The majority of those who may take part in this program work in sectors critical to the state’s economy – hospitality, food service, home health care and construction – making it even more important that we keep those eligible folks healthy and productive.

New Hampshire has made leaps and bounds in supporting our neighbors impacted by the opioid crisis, and we must continue investing in the well-being of each resident. Our neighbors, our co-workers, our family and friends – their health, quality of life and economic contributions depend upon this vital program.

KATIE ROBERT

Concord

(The writer is member of the N.H. Public Health Association board of directors.)