What is the Dover Mental Health Alliance

The Dover Mental Health Alliance (DMHA) was born from a shared interest of community members, from across all sectors, to tackle the stigma of mental illness, prevent suicide and shine a light on the importance of recognizing that our mental health is just as important as our physical health.  

Who is part of the DMHA?

The DMHA (also referred to as the “Alliance”) is comprised of area business leaders, educators, administrators, civic leaders, therapists, community members, nonprofit staff, faith leaders, law enforcement and emergency personnel who have joined forces for the purpose of delivering education and awareness of mental health and its challenges to the Dover Community. We are not all therapists; we are citizens who care about the mental health of all of our community members and are dedicated to removing the stigma associated with mental illness. 

Why is community involvement necessary?

The people who are part of our business districts, our school systems, our safety personnel, our non profit organizations, our churches, our neighbors, our families and everyone in between create the foundation of a community. We all have a part to play in the health and welfare of our community.

The Alliance aims to empower its citizens to be able to recognize the signs of someone experiencing a mental health challenge and to be able to respond appropriately. One does not need to be a therapist to offer mental health first-aid-type assistance. Eliminating stigma and accepting the fact that mental health is just as important as physical can empower anyone to offer help and support to someone in need.

How will the Dover Mental Health Alliance achieve its mission and vision?

What makes the DMHA so strong are the people who are connected with the Alliance. Our Alliance members are passionate about changing our culture when it comes to how we view mental health and it’s challenges. We know it will take time and many conversations.

The DMHA has the tools, support, expertise and strategic partnerships to be a catalyst for this culture change. With your help, we can create a mental health-friendly community.

DMHA Initiatives

1. Become a DMHA Mental Health-Friendly “PLACE”. Learn what this means and how to become a DMHA “PLACE”. DMHA “PLACES” are safe-judgement free spaces for your employees, customers and patrons. DMHA “PLACES” are identified by a special logo at the front door and signify that people in these locations can offer mental health first aid support and mental health resources to someone in need.

But I’m not qualified, how can I help someone going through a mental health crisis? Learn how anyone can help someone experiencing a mental health crisis, even you!

When you work with the DMHA, we can help you to transform your culture so that people feel they can get the mental health help they need, without feeling shame or discrimination.

2. The DMHA Task Force is taking root. The DMHA Task Force was formed to break down barriers and silos among first responders, schools, hospital, youth and adult serving organizations and many more entities in our community so that no one gets left behind when it comes to accessing care to mental health supports and services.

3. NAMI NH Suicide Prevention Connect Program. Become trained in the risk factors and warning signs of some experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions.

4. Adult & Youth Mental Health First Aid. Become trained to recognize and respond appropriately to an adult or youth experiencing a mental health crisis.

5. Teen Mental Health First Aid. A youth focused training that teaches youth how to recognize and respond appropriately to another youth experiencing a mental health crisis.

We must being to normalize these conversations,

in person and out loud

so that people get the help they need without feeling shame or discrimination.

Mental Health is Just as Important as Physical Health- may move the rest of this info elsewhere

Mental health is just as important as physical health, but due to stigmatizing attitudes this vital piece of overall wellness is often seen as “another person’s problem.” In reality, we all have mental health. All people, children and adults, move along the “Mental Health Continuum.” Where we are on the continuum of mental and (physical) health is not static; it’s influenced by many factors and circumstances (ex. stressors, environment, personal experience) and can change over time. 

When a person experiences a physical health crisis, typically they are helped by concerned citizens, sometimes strangers, with no medical qualifications, and receive help in a timely manner.

What if a person began experiencing a mental health crisis? How would this scenario play out?