Dover NH 6-part plan for better mental health unveiled

DOVER — Suzanne Weete is a leader at Community Partners and describes herself as a mom who got involved because she saw a mental health issue.

“As a mother, I’m passionate about being involved with my children,” she said. “So if I didn’t know the risks and warning signs, how can I expect others to? We need to educate everyone. I want to teach my peers, teachers, professors, business owners and other parents to recognize emotional distress and what to do to help. If you see someone with a broken arm or a heart attack, you would help. It’s the same.”

Weete was part of a panel discussion at Dover High School on Saturday. The topic was the draft report of a working group of the Dover Mental Health Alliance with six goals and more than 100 initiatives to address mental health with a community-wide approach.

Weete spoke about personal responsibility and the need for everyone to get involved and help change the culture and stigma surrounding mental health.

Saturday’s panel was moderated by Laura Knoy, known for her long career with New Hampshire Public Radio. The panel included Weete, community education and engagement manager at Community Partners; Christopher Kozak, Chief Executive Officer of Community Partners, Christine Boston, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services at Dover School District and William Breault, Dover Police Commissioner. Support was provided by Max Latona, Director of the Center for Ethics in Society at Saint Anselm College, along with Anna Gendron and Hannah Beaudry of the Centre.