Campaign to Change Direction to Come to Mount Royal

Former NH State Supreme Court Justice John Broderick and Concord Hospital Family Health Center Director of Behavioral Health Dr. William Gunn will speak at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee on Oct. 26 on behalf of the Campaign to Change Direction New Hampshire.

Representatives from behavioral health, businesses, education, law enforcement, medical care, and policy makers in New Hampshire joined together to launch the Campaign to Change Direction New Hampshire, the first state-wide effort of The Campaign to Change Direction, a national initiative to change the culture of mental health in America.

Bishop Peter Libasci, head of the Diocese of Manchester, has called upon the Catholic community statewide to participate in the Change Direction campaign in a Sept. 27 letter to parishes.  He has encouraged church leaders to hold presentations about recognizing the signs of mental illness, noting that Broderick has offered to discuss the issue with parish communities.

In his letter, Libasci highlighted “the tragedy of mental illness going unrecognized and/or untreated.”

“This reality has been reported in our news media, most often within the context of a tragic consequence of an afflicted person’s acting-out,” he wrote.

“We are thrilled to be the first state to launch an effort like this,” says John Broderick, co-chair of the Campaign to Change Direction NH.  “This is a conversation we, as a state, must have.  Imagine a future where people can ask for help for mental disorders as easily as they seek treatment for a physical illness or injury.”

Broderick was a member of the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1995 to 2010, serving for seven of those years as Chief Justice.  He later became Dean of the law school at University of New Hampshire and founded the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy.

Gunn, co-chair of the Campaign to Change Direction NH, is a family psychologist and Director of Primary Care Behavioral Health at the NH Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency program at Concord Hospital.  He has thirty years of experience providing clinical services to individuals and families in primary care settings.

The event, including a Q&A session with the speakers, will be held at 6:30 pm in Mount Royal’s St. Joseph Center and is open to the public.