June 2, 2016

Holy Family Hospital to Co-Sponsor a Free Mental Health and Wellness Forum in Haverhill on June 23

A panel of experts will discuss mental health and its challenges at a forum called “Understanding Mental Wellness: Making Connections…Staying Healthy” on Thursday June 23, 2016.  The event will be from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Haverhill Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. 
This is the second English-speaking program in a series of free mental health community forums presented by Holy Family Hospital and area health coalitions.  The June 23 forum will be in collaboration with the Lower Merrimack Valley and Seacoast Health Partnership, which serves greater Haverhill.  
Topics that will be presented include, defining mental health and its relationship to overall medical, spiritual and physical wellness; accessing assistance and treatment; dealing with a loved one with a mental health issue from a caretaker’s perspective; and successfully coping with a mental health issue from a first-person perspective. Information on area resources also will be available.
In the last 18 months, nearly 400 people have attended four of these forums, offered in Spanish and English, in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen.
According to the latest data issued in 2014 from the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 43.6 million adults in the United States age 18 or older — which represents 18.1% of all U.S. adults— were diagnosed with a mental illness within that year.
Community health needs assessments conducted last year by Holy Family Hospital and the Health Partnership, revealed that emergency room visits, where mental health was the primary or associated cause, were higher in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen than the state average.  
Participants in several English and Spanish focus groups conducted for the needs assessment, identified mental health as a major problem for which people are in need of information, treatment, and assistance with coping skills.
Speakers for the June 23 forum include: Peter Amari, RN, psychological nurse practitioner, retired police officer; Cristen Sweet, LICSW, LADC 1, clinical supervisor for Lahey Behavioral Health Emergency Services-Haverhill, private practitioner; Barbara Worsley, RN, coordinator of Family Driven Practice, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health; and Lucy Ingram, certified peer specialist.  The moderator will be Holly Hammershoy, LMHC, clinical director, Therapeutic Mentoring Program supervisor, Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, and co-chair of the City of Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force Behavioral Health Working Group. 
This event is free of charge and no pre-registration is required.  For more information, please call Karen Kennedy at Holy Family Hospital at (978) 687-0151 ext 2007.
About the Lower Merrimack Valley and Seacoast Health Partnership
Through its collaboration with health and human service providers, community based organizations, faith-based groups, coalitions, residents, businesses, community leaders, and municipal governments, the HP seeks to improve the health outcomes in the communities it serves and increase communication among service providers, consumers, and residents. The Health Partnership includes the following cities and town: Amesbury, Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Merrimac, Newbury Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, and West Newbury.
About Holy Family Hospital 
Holy Family Hospital ( is a 385-bed acute-care hospital with two campuses; Holy Family Hospital - Methuen and Holy Family Hospital - Haverhill. Both locations provide comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and 24/7 emergency services to the greater Merrimack Valley, southern New Hampshire and the New Hampshire seacoast. Holy Family Hospital’s Methuen and Haverhill campuses are proud recipients of the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission. Both campuses have also earned “A” Hospital Safety Scores from The Leapfrog Group for their performance on national standards of safety, quality and efficiency. Holy Family Hospital is part of the Steward Health Care Systems LLC, the largest integrated community care organization in New England, which combines over 3,000 physicians, 10 hospital campuses, managed care, insurance programs, home care, an imaging operation, and a number of other post acute services, to provide the most cost effective and highest quality of integrated patient care.