Mental illnesses are treatable disorders of the brain. Left untreated, they are among the most disabling and destructive illnesses. Recovery is possible with proper treatment and sometimes medication. Successful recovery involves learning about your illness and the treatments available, empowering yourself through the support of peers and family members and taking action to manage your own illness. The links below provide valuable information on recovery from mental illness.
Community Mental Health Centers in NH provide an array of services and supports and 24/7 emergency services
Peer Support Agencies provide services by and for people with a mental illness to assist with their recovery.
Support Groups – NAMI NH offers groups in communities across the state that are facilitated by a trained leader with lived experience who is a family member, parent/caregiver, or person in recovery from a mental health condition.
NAMI Peer-to-Peer is an 8-week educational program for adults with mental health conditions.
In Our Own Voice is a speaker program for people who are in recovery.
Onward NH – find help and resources for First Episode Psychosis (FEP) and Early Serious Mental Illness (ESMI).
NH Insurance Department – If you have concerns that your health insurance carrier has failed to comply with state or federal insurance laws, including parity laws, you should contact the New Hampshire Insurance Department for questions or submit a complaint.
Parity: Similar costs and benefits for mental health, substance use disorder, and medical treatments. The costs and benefits do not have to be exactly equal to meet parity standards− just similar.
If you have questions or assistance is making a complaint, you can contact the New Hampshire Insurance Department Consumer Services Unit at 800-852-3416 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
NAMI NH offers a variety of supports to family members who have a loved one with mental illness. In addition to those listed below, we have a large variety of printed materials on various mental illnesses. Click the links below or on the side navigation for more information on the desired topic.
Family Support Groups ~ offered around the state for family members and friends of adults with mental illness
Adult Guidebook ~ a resource for friends and family members of individuals with mental illness
One-on-One Support ~ our Family Support Specialist provides One-on-One Support to family members seeking assistance ~ call 603.225.5359
Information & Resource Line ~ call 800.242.6264, Monday ~ Friday, 9 am ~ 5 pm
Life Interrupted ~ speaker program for family members who have a loved one with mental illness
Mental Illness & Families of Faith: How Congregations Can Respond ~ resource/study guide for clergy and faith communities, Mental Health Ministries
NAMI NH offers a variety of supports to parents who have a child/adolescent with serious emotional disorders. In addition to those listed below, we have a large variety of printed materials on various mental illnesses. Click the links below or on the side navigation for more information on the desired topic.
Parent/Caregiver Guidebook ~ for parents and caregivers of children/adolescents with serious emotional disorders
Parent Support Groups ~ offered around the state for parents who have a child/adolescent with serious emotional disorders
One-on-One Support ~ our Family Support Specialist provides One-on-One support to family members seeking assistance ~ call 603.225.5359
Information & Resource Line ~ call (800) 242-6264, Monday ~ Friday, 9 am ~ 5 pm
NH Family Network (NHFN) ~ provides support, education and advocacy for families supporting youth and children living with mental health challenges.
What Families Can Do When a Child May Have a Mental Illness
If you are worried about your child’s mental health, follow your instincts. Unexplained changes in a child’s behavior and/or mood may be the early warning signs of a mental health condition and should never be ignored.
There are many different types of mental illness, and it isn’t easy to simplify the range of challenges children face. One way to begin to get a handle on this question is to get an evaluation of your child or teen by a licensed mental health professional. Because all children and youth are unique and the local mental health services, insurance coverage and school services vary a great deal from community to community, it is a challenge to find the right kind of help for your child.
NH Children’s Behavioral Health Plan
Learn how you can help move forward the building of a comprehensive, integrated child serving system of care
Older Adult Guidebook for family members and caregivers of older adults with mental illness
Side by Side ~ a program promoting mental health for older adults, their families, and caregivers.
Dartmouth Aging Resource Center: Aging Resource Center | DHMC and Clinics (dartmouth-hitchcock.org)
Center for Mental Health & Aging: Mental Health Education for Older Adults, Caregivers & Professionals (mentalhealthandaging.com)
This Chair Rocks: This Chair Rocks – pushing back against ageism—which affects everyone
Part 1 of the Elder Health Video Series from the Endowment for Health
Part 2 of the Elder Health Video Series from the Endowment for Health
General Support and Education
Support Groups – Family, parent, peer support, and survivor of suicide loss support groups are available across NH.
Education Programs -We provide a number of education and training programs bringing information about mental illness and suicide prevention to the workplace, communities and service providers throughout New Hampshire.
Military & Veteran Family-Specific Support
Online Support Group – NH Veterans and Military Families Supporting Each Other is facilitated by a NAMI NH staff member. This is a closed private Facebook group where folks can share ideas, information and resources. You can join simply by searching the group name in Facebook and submitting a request to join along with answering a few screening questions.
One-on-One Support – One-on-One support is also available, to learn more, please contact the NAMI NH Information & Resource Line – 1-800-242-6264 (press 4).
NAMI Homefront is a free, 6-session online educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and vets with mental health conditions.
Based on the nationally recognized NAMI Family-to-Family program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program is taught by trained family members of service members/veterans living with mental health conditions.
NAMI Homefront teaches you how to:
- Manage crises, solve problems and communicate effectively.
- Learn to care for yourself, including managing your stress.
- Develop the confidence and stamina to support your family member with compassion.
- Identify and access federal, state and local services.
- Stay informed on the latest research and information on mental health, including post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.
- Understand current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects.
- Navigate the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on the entire family.
Military OneSource Exceptional Family Member Program – Support for managing care and services for a family member with special needs.
To learn more about these, and other supports and resources, please contact: The NAMI NH Information & Resource Line – 1-800-242-6264 (press 4).
NAMI New Hampshire programs and supports are open to all individuals and families affected by mental illness and suicide. The mental health resources below offer support specifically for our community members who are immigrants and refugees.
Please note: The resources included here are not endorsed by NAMI New Hampshire, and NAMI New Hampshire is not responsible for the content of or service provided by any of these resources.
Welcoming New Hampshire is a coalition of organizations around the state focused on supporting immigrants and refugees by listening to and addressing community concerns.
Overcomers Refugee Services is a resource center for refugees and immigrants. They provide support, education and cultural orientation in a number of different languages.
NH DHHS Refugee Program
The NH DHHS Refugee Program helps refugees with economic self-sufficiency and integration.
New Hampshire Alliance of Immigrants and Refugees
The New Hampshire Alliance of Immigrants and Refugees (NHAIR) is an organization that helps immigrants and refugees become voters and leaders.
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is a philanthropic organization that awards grants and scholarships each year to nonprofits and New Hampshire students. They are dedicated to giving to a variety of causes including immigrant and refugee services in New Hampshire.
Ascentria Care Alliance
The Ascentria Care Alliance provides wrap-around services that help individuals and families navigate transitions in life and break the cycle of poverty.
Association of Bosniaks of New Hampshire
The Association of Bosniak’s of New Hampshire is a group building awareness around Bosniak values and identities to help immigrants have a positive integration into society in NH.
Building Community in NH
Building Community in New Hampshire is an organization run by and for refugees, with the goal of providing support to those rebuilding their lives here in New Hampshire.
NH Brazilian Council
The NH Brazilian Council provides services to New Hampshire’s Brazilian population in order to help them thrive and be contributors to NH.
Centro Latino de Hospitalid
Centro Latino de Hospitaliad is a community serving organization focused on providing support and answering questions for individuals in underserved populations such as the immigrant and refugee populations in New Hampshire.
The Franco-American Center in Manchester provides classes, social activities and cultural events that promote education about french culture, heritage and language.
International Institute of New England
The International Institute of New England provides opportunities for immigrants and refugees to find success during resettlement, through education, career advancement and helping navigate pathways to citizenship.
Indonesian Community Connect
Indonesian Community Connect is a New Hampshire non-profit that works to build connections between the Indonesian community and surrounding area through supporting health, education, workforce, immigration, business development, food distribution and by hosting festivals that promote Indonesian culture and heritage.
Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success
The Organization for Immigrant and Refugee Success helps new Americans find employment, understand American healthcare and banking systems and learn English through trainings, resources and opportunities for self-sufficiency.
SNHU- Center for New Americans- YWCA
The Center for New Americans- YWCA is a program focused on empowering women, eliminating racism and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity. This program is dedicated to being a safe and welcoming space for New Americans.
Safari Youth Club
The Safari Youth Club supports New American families by providing academic support, athletic and artistic opportunities and by providing assistance to families as they integrate into their new communities.
Turkish Cultural Center of NH
The Turkish Cultural Center NH helps Turkish Americans by providing education, seminars, festivals, dinners and more in order to build a cross-cultural understanding and mutual respect for Turkish culture and individuals here in New Hampshire.
Mental illnesses can profoundly disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, moods, ability to relate to others and capacity for coping with the demands of life. They are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing, but instead are biologically based brain disorders that can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income.
At the heart of NAMI NH’s mission is the sharing of information with consumers, their families, friends, mental health professionals and the general public. We strive to educate all people about severe and persistent mental illnesses, to eliminate stigma and to promote access to integrated systems of care and rehabilitation. To learn more about selected mental illnesses, visit the NAMI National Mental Illness page.
Mental Health Condition Fact Sheets
Related Condition Fact Sheets
An Integration of Mental Health Services and Primary Health Care
Integrated health care is a system of health care in which both mental and physical problems and disorders are treated simultaneously. It is a system that recognizes that a mental disorder must be treated with equal importance as a physical disorder. President Bush’s New Freedom Commission Report on Mental Health reinforces this idea:
“Understanding that mental health is essential to overall health is fundamental for establishing a health system that treats mental illnesses with the same urgency as it treats physical illnesses.”
In order to properly treat individuals with mental disorders we must pay closer attention to how the mental and general medical care systems can work together. It is clear that mental and physical health are connected, and with a transformed system in which both care systems collaborate for care, we can bridge the gap that currently exists between these two systems. Under an integrated health care system, effective mental health treatments will be available for most mental disorders, and primary care providers will have the necessary time, training and resources to appropriately treat mental health problems and have access to mental health specialists when it is necessary to make a referral.
For people who live with mental illnesses, a healthy lifestyle is especially important. Sometimes, it is easy to become so focused on treating a mental illness that physical health is neglected. But having a healthy body contributes to emotional recovery. Eating the right foods, exercising, finding ways to manage stress, getting enough rest and having friends and activities that you enjoy are all part of healthy living. It can help you make better choices for yourself, develop new interests and even make new friends and acquaintances, leading to a happier, more fulfilling life. Review information about the importance of physical health in conjunction with mental health, and to access the Hearts and Minds booklet visit NAMI Hearts and Minds.
The Mind Body Connection
Research has shown that having depression can affect other physical illnesses such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, and heart disease. Having depression can make these, and other illnesses more frequent, severe and difficult to treat. If depression is untreated, many illnesses can worsen. So, treating depression can help individuals manage physical illness and improve their general health.
Symptoms of Depression
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feels of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
- Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
- Restlessness, irritability
If five or more of these symptoms are present every day for at least two weeks and interfere with routine daily activities such as work, self-care, and childcare or social life, seek an evaluation for depression. Visit the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) for more information on depression.
The Collaborative Family Approach to Healthcare
“The collaborative family healthcare model envisions seamless collaboration between psychosocial, biomedical, nursing, and other healthcare providers, and views patient, family, community, and provider systems as equal participants in the healthcare process. This approach is a radical departure from conventional “diagnose and refer” models and is distinctly different from the usual managed care approaches. It recognizes that clinical events always occur at biological, psychological and social levels, and that patient, family, and community represent a single ecosystem. By adding the essential ingredients of psychological and family care at the front end, and continuously throughout the healthcare process, and by coordinating and integrating the hard-won expertise of these and other healthcare professions, the wasteful use of repeated diagnostic procedures is minimized, as are costly sub-specialty referrals. It is a profoundly ethical approach that conserves resources for all participants: patients and their families, clinical providers, administrative and financial entities .” For more information, visit Collaborative Family Healthcare Association.
Policy Brief: The Changing Dynamics of Hospital Care for Mental Illness & Substance Use in NH – Implications for Supporting Continuums of Care
Documenting NH’s need to fundamentally revise its approach for treating mental and physical health and substance use disorders.
This report examines model programs for improving integration and coordination of behavioral health and primary health services for adults and children with serious mental disorders who rely on the public mental health system for their care.
This report was prepared for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to identify and describe existing models of publicly funded integrated service programs.
The term psychosocial refers to an individual’s psychological development in and interaction with their social environment. Psychosocial treatments (interventions) include structured counseling, motivational enhancement, case management, care-coordination, psychotherapy and relapse prevention. Refer to the links below for in depth information on the various types of psychosocial treatments available today.
Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery – promotes personal, organizational and community wellness and empowerment through education, training and research
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) – offers support groups that can help you stick with your treatment plan and avoid hospitalization
Emotions Anonymous – twelve-step organization weekly meetings for the purpose of working toward recovery from emotional difficulties
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery – recovery and advocacy organization
National Empowerment Center – think tank responsible for some of the first and most important research and advocacy on recovery
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – federal mental health website contains information on all their publications (many are free) and other resources
NAMI Fact Sheets – information sheets on medications used for treatment for mental illnesses
Prescription Drug Assistance Program – information on free or low-cost medications provided by pharmaceutical companies
US Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research – federal website with consumer information on drugs approved by the FDA since January 1998
Taking medications correctly is an important factor in recovery. Many effective medications for the treatment of mental illnesses have become available in the past few decades.New medications offer exciting possibilities for individuals with severe mental illnesses to lead full and productive lives. These treatments can often mean the difference between hope and despair, recovery and struggle, even life and death. Below are links to several sites with extensive information on various medications.
A person taking their medicines incorrectly is a major public health problem and contributes to the high cost of health care.* It is estimated that about 50% of patients stop taking prescribed medicines before their doctor intended. Many medicines are now available to help treat conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, schizophrenia, and depression. However, if persons do not take their medicines correctly, their health problems may get worse. Ask yourself these questions to see if you take medicines correctly:
- Did you ever get a prescription from your doctor and not have it filled?
- Did you ever skip taking a dose of your medicine?
- Did you ever stop taking your medicine because you “felt better”?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may not be getting the full benefit from your medicine. What can you do…?
- Understand how the doctor wants you to take the medicine and take it exactly as prescribed.
- If you have questions about your medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Write down any instructions from your doctor or pharmacist.
- Take your medicine at the same time each day or with an activity you do daily.
- Find ways to help remember when to take your medicine:
- For example: when you brush your teeth, with meals, or at bedtime
- Tell a friend or spouse about your medicine schedule and he or she can help you remember.
- Keep your medicine where you will remember to take it, BUT DO NOT LEAVE IT WITHIN THE REACH OF CHILDREN!
- Use a daily planner and check it off after taking your medicine.
- Don’t skip your medicine because you are feeling well and think you no longer need it.
- Be alert for possible side effects and report them promptly.
- Know what foods, drinks, other medicines, or activities to avoid.
- Get refills of your prescription before you run out; plan ahead for weekends or holidays.
Be sure to know these things for every medicine you take…
- It’s name
- Why you are taking it
- How much to take
- How often to take it
- When to take it each day
- Where to store it
- How long to take it for
- What the side effects might be
If you have a problem or any questions, call your provider or pharmacist!!!
* Vermeire E et al. Patient adherence to treatment: three decades of research. A comprehensive review. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2001; 26:331-42.
Joining a Clinical Trial
Participating in clinical trials is not for everyone. If you are interested, you can learn more about participating in a clinical trial from the resources linked below.
Listings of Clinical Trials
Local Clinical Trials
It can be challenging to find psychiatric clinical trials in New Hampshire. Below are locations in the state that frequently conduct open clinical trials. Please note that NAMI NH is providing this information as a general resource. NAMI NH does not endorse or recommend any particular organizations, trials, treatments, or medications.