Change Direction N.H. announces steering committee

  • Former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, John Broderick, right, greets Senate President Chuck Morse and Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper, center before launching his statewide campaign to bring awareness to mental illness Monday May 23, 2016, at the statehouse in Concord, N.H. Fourteen years ago, Broderick's 30-year-old son Christian attacked him with a guitar as he slept. Broderick spent months recovering from his injuries; his son spent three years in state prison. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Monitor staff
Published: 7/8/2016 1:29:42 AM

Newly formed mental health coalition Change Direction announced a steering committee made up of New Hampshire political, business, and community leaders on Wednesday.

The 31-member steering committee includes mental health and medical professionals from around the state, as well as representatives from the offices of U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster. Other state leaders include Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers, Attorney General Joe Foster and N.H. Department of Corrections Commissioner William Wrenn.

Change Direction New Hampshire was created to lead public awareness around the five signs of emotional distress and spread information about mental health resources around the state.

In addition to its steering committee, the coalition announced it will soon be leading a series of community meetings around the state and running broadcast public service announcements about mental health.

The coalition is led by co-chairs including former state Supreme Court Justice John Broderick, CEO of Riverbend Community Health Peter Evers and Dr. Bill Gunn of Concord Hopsital’s Family Health Center.

“Since our launch in May, I have been humbled by the amount of feedback I have received from people throughout our state saying this effort has already helped someone in need,” Broderick said in a statement. “I want the five signs of emotional distress to be as commonly known as the major signs of a heart attack. I think we are already well on our way.”

(Ella Nilsen can be reached at 369-3322, or on Twitter @ella_nilsen.)

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