About the NHFN
The New Hampshire Family Network (NHFN) provides support, education and advocacy for families supporting youth and children living with mental health challenges.
The NHFN distributes an electronic newsletter periodically throughout the year specifically for families supporting youth and children with mental health challenges. To automatically receive the newsletter, sign up here:
To view past newsletters, click on one of the links below:
New Hampshire Children’s System of Care (NH CSOC)
NAMI NH and the NHFN are an integral part of the NH Children’s System of Care. Below are some resources from the NH CSOC Communications Committee:
Together we grow a mentally healthy tomorrow. This purpose unifies our volunteers, guides our program development and rallies our families and community members to come together and take action to improve the mental wellbeing of our state. The New Hampshire Family Network provides a foundation of educational tools and resources, connects families to professionals, educators, and peers to experience support, and inspires individuals to advocate for themselves and their families. Together our shared voices change how we legislate for and support individuals with mental illness across our communities.
What we do:
Education fuels confidence and understanding. We provide a foundation of information, tools, and resources to NH families including downloadable web content, online and in-person training sessions, informative webinars, community events and more to:
- Strengthen the family’s ability to support the needs of their children and adolescents by making resources, training and support groups available
- Ensure that our resources and assistance are available statewide through a variety of options including online, over the phone and in person
What we provide:
- Parent Support Groups – scheduled, live meetings for parents of children/adolescents with social emotional challenges
- Caregivers of Children & Adolescents with Social Emotional Challenges – Private Facebook Group
- Information and Resource Line 1-800-242-6264 (press 4) or info@NAMINH.org – to reach a NAMI NH staff member to help answer questions and provide local community and national resources
- Children, Youth and Family Newsletter
- NAMI NH Annual Conference
FAST Forward Program
FAST Forward is a program designed to provide support to children, youth, and their families by using a high fidelity Wraparound approach, and adhering to a System of Care model. A System of Care model reflects a spectrum of community-based services and supports for children, youth, and young adults with, or at risk for, mental health and related challenges, and their families. The System of Care is organized into a coordinated network, builds meaningful partnerships with families and youth, and addresses their cultural and linguistic needs in order to help them function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life.
Many New Hampshire children, youth, and families experiencing difficulties in day-to-day life due to serious emotional disturbances have challenges finding the right support at the right time. They are often placed out of home in residential treatment facilities, psychiatric hospitals, juvenile justice facilities, or daytime programs. Many of these placements take the youth out of their local schools and communities. Despite the best intentions and hard work of families and providers, services are often fragmented and difficult to navigate for families.
New Hampshire is making big strides to address these challenges using the NH Wraparound based program called FAST Forward. The FAST Forward program stands for “Families and Systems Together” and is designed to serve youth with serious emotional disturbances and their families whose needs are not met by traditional service streams and programs.
Family and Youth Driven
Family is at the core of FAST Forward’s work. Family members have a voice in describing their needs and strengths, and a choice in identifying services and their supports. Families take a leadership role in their family’s care as well as in policy, planning, and evaluation of the overall system. Youth voice is needed and valued, as youth are full participants in planning their care.
Community Based and Culturally Competent
Services are home and community based: keeping youth in their homes and schools is a priority. FAST Forward honors the culture and beliefs of each family served through this program.
Things had gotten really rough for my family. I was really feeling helpless, sure that I would have to put my child into a facility of some sort. Or worse, that nothing would be done to help at all, putting his and our safety at risk.
Then NAMI NH and FAST Forward stepped in. And my family was lifted up, immediately.
Our FAST Forward team has just worked miracles for our family. They start out by helping each family member discern what their needs are. The team then brainstorms around how to help each family member with those needs.
The FAST Forward team focuses on your strengths. It’s a brilliant concept, but one that eludes us all so much. We figure out what we need in that moment, we brainstorm around it—finding ways to use our strengths and setting goals—and then the team supports our family in meeting those goals.
My family has grown by leaps and bounds, each in our own individual ways….
My son now has a loving support system around him, at school and in the community; and is now looking into opportunities to be a leader and teach or help others.
I myself have been able to receive leadership education, and now serve as a member of a few boards, committees, and task forces. I have become an amazing advocate for myself, my family, and my community at large.
My family still struggles at times, but we have an amazing support system now in our Fast Forward team. While we know that someday we will be transitioning out of Fast Forward, right now we couldn’t be more thankful for the support we have in our team, and we know that we will never forget the skills we have learned from NAMI and Fast Forward NH.
NHFN Grant Oversight Board
Haley Urbanik, Chairperson and Secretary
Frequently Asked Questions