April 17, 2018

Holy Family Hospital to Host Third Annual Community Mental Health & Wellness Forum on April 26th

METHUEN, MA – Holy Family Hospital-Methuen, in conjunction with the City of Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force (MHTF)-Behavioral Health Working Group, will host the third Mental Health and Wellness English speaking forum on Thursday, April 26, 2018.  This event, which is open to the public, is entitled: Understanding Mental Health and Wellness:  The Importance of Social Connections & Feeling Connected


The forum will offer basic information to families and the general public on the importance of social connections when recovering from traumatic incidences. The event will be from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the ground-floor auditorium at Holy Family Hospital, located at 70 East St. in Methuen, MA.  Light refreshments will be served. Interpretive services will be available in Spanish. 


This is the third English-speaking program in a series of free mental health community forums offered by the City of Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force (MHTF).  Over 700 Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill residents have attended mental health forums in Spanish and English over the past four years. 


Speakers for the April 26th forum include:


Anna Javier, Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative Coordinator for Lawrence Methuen Community Coalition; Co-founder and co-facilitator of Time 4 Change, a faith-based addiction support group at Ebenezer Christian Church; President of Merrimack Valley Project, a regional organization that addresses critical economic and social justice issues; a member of Gov. Baker's Hate Crimes Task Force.


Annette CappuccioLMHC, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and current Clinic Director for Arbour Counseling in Lawrence.  She holds a Graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling from UMASS Boston and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from UMASS Lowell.

Roxanne Noltemy, is a resident in recovery, with a 25 year history of poly substance use (early onset), and co-occurring disorders, including: Bipolar Disorder, OCD, Anxiety and Severe PTSD.   Roxanne credits her recovery to people she has been fortunate enough to meet, who “believed in her” and helped her to find needed services, and to create safe relationships. 

Information presented will include information regarding the importance of social connectedness; the impact on one’s spirituality, relationships and sense of belonging; the relationship between social connectedness and community; and a personal recount from someone who lived the experience.

A Community Health Need
Community health needs assessments conducted in 2015 and 2016  by Holy Family and Lawrence General Hospitals respectively, revealed that rates of emergency room visits, where mental health and/or substance use disorder were the primary or associated causes, were higher in Lawrence, Haverhill, and Methuen, than the State’s.   This resulted in higher hospitalization rates in these areas, when compared to the state, as per thestate’s 2011/2012 MassCHIP information.


Additionally, members of seven English and Spanish community focus groups conducted by Holy Family Hospital in 2015 identified mental health, substance use disorder, and the intersection of these two conditions, as major concerns for which residents were seeking more general information, as well as for assistance with coping skills, in addition to treatment.


Holy Family Hospital will be completing another community health needs assessment this calendar year.


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About The City of Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force (MHTF) is a multi-sector coalition that promotes health equity for all through advocacy, education, capacity-building, and networking. The MHTF serves as an advisory board to the Mayor of Lawrence. The MHTF’s Behavioral Health Working Group is made up of representatives from Holy Family Hospital, local behavioral health and social service agencies helping residents cope with mental and behavioral health issues. 


About Holy Family Hospital 
Holy Family Hospital is one of only 44 hospitals nationwide to earn the 2017 Top General Hospital Award from The Leapfrog Group, and is the only hospital in the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire to earn this distinction for performance on national standards of quality and safety. Holy Family Hospital is a 385-bed acute-care hospital with three campuses: Holy Family Hospital – Methuen, Holy Family Hospital- Haverhill and Andover Surgery Center. Both full-service hospital locations provide comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and 24/7 emergency services to the greater Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire. Holy Family Hospital, the proud recipient of the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission and the Leapfrog Group “A” Hospital Safety Grade, is the first hospital in Massachusetts to earn Advanced Certification in Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery by The Joint Commission, and is Nationally Recognized by BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts as a Blue Distinction Center® Plus for excellence in hip and knee replacements and as a Blue Distinction Center® for Spine Surgery. Our Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center has been named a Center of Excellence six years in a row by Healogics. The hospital’s strengths include orthopedic care, cancer care, neurology/neurosurgery, general surgery, thoracic and pulmonary care, urologic surgery, ENT surgery, wound care and hyperbaric medicine, maternity care, and behavioral medicine.  Holy Family Hospital is part of Steward Health Care, a fully integrated national health care services organization committed to providing the highest quality of care in the communities where our patients live. Steward operates 36 community hospitals in ten states that employ approximately 37,000 people and regularly receives top awards for quality and safety. The Steward network includes more than 26 urgent care centers, 42 preferred skilled nursing facilities, substantial behavioral health services, over 7,300 beds under management, and more than 1.1 million covered lives through the company’s managed care and health insurance services.