Will Baker <>
Pablo Coddou <>
Tonya Davis <>
Lori ford <>
Norm Hanson <>
Michael Hartman <>
Susan Houston <>
Kim Larose <>
Alden Launer <>
Tina Maynard
Deborah McKinley <>
Sharon Reed
Monique Reil <>
David Rich <>
Barb Strong <>
Tom & Kathryn Twetten <>
Michelle Warren <>
Maggie Worboys <>

1/8 First Meeting Notes
Present:  Deb, Palbo, Norm, Susan, Eric, Walt, Patrick, Michelle, Tom, Monique & Will


Hi everyone,
Thank you for your attendance and participation in our meeting last evening. I walked away with tremendous gratitude for the energy, compassion and commitment around this project of ensuring our community knows about mental health resources, and is able to access them.

After a very rich conversation, I think we ended up with a few ideas to pursue:

1. Tom and Norm are going to find out more about the Northeast Kingdom Human Services and the commitment there to enhance mental health resources.

2. We have an idea to create some sort of group that will provide

-  liaison/advocacy - helping someone/families navigate the mental health system, and help advocate for them/help them advocate for themselves.

-  compassion/care - someone to walk alongside struggling persons/families to let them know they’re not alone and that they matter. 

3. Workshops:

- suicide prevention

- mental health awareness

- mental health ‘first aid’

4. Communication - using Front Porch Forum to simply raise awareness of mental health issues for our community. I’m thinking something like what the Craftsbury Land Committee posted last year in FPF - a series of occasional announcements.

I’m sure there are other ideas swirling around and look forward to the opportunity to have them surface!


From Monique after 1st Meeting


Thank you from me as well for all your comments and ideas, very helpful for those of us who do the work and who also are your neighbors!

I am copying this to Tonya Davis, who is the crisis program director at mental health (North East Kingdom Human Services) and who expressed interest in joining this group. I am also copying my supervisor (Michael Hartman) on this to keep him in the loop, and he fully supports our endeavors.

Under workshops, I think we also mentioned possibly inviting NAMI as part of a mental health awareness training; I believe they have a one day format/presentation they can do.

I will plan to join the meeting on Feb. 6th.

Thank you again and take care!




1/11: Deb

Also, East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church is part of the Center for an Agricultural Economy’s newish community organizing effort: Northeast Kingdom Organizing (NEKO).   They’re holding an ‘Issues Assembly’ on Saturday, January 20, 12-4pm in Barton.  The idea arose at our church’s Session meeting (governing council) to pose mental health resources/education/access to the priority list at this issues assembly. At the assembly, the group will determine the focus priorities for community organizing for the next year. If you can make it to the issues assembly and advocate for this - that would be great. Louise Kinsey and Tom Kinsey Warnock are our church’s representatives, and Lori Mathez, also of our church and a Craftsbury resident may also attend. A flyer is attached.

1/29 I had an excellent meeting with Shawn Tester, the CEO of Northern Counties Health Care on Friday.  Kari White, who does quality initiatives for NCHC  and is focused on suicide now.   This is because St. J Academy and Lyndonville Institute (High School) have each had recent suicides and , like Craftsbury, are intent on it not happening again.  

     I have in hand a Suicide Prevention pamphlet that they recommend.   They are not expensive.   Two versions, one adult and one adolescent, are available.  

     There is a possibility that we can have 3 slots, one adult and 2 high school students , for an all day training session of "UMatter" on March 15 in St J.   This is focused on adolescents.

     Tom T. 

Email to Tom 1/26/18:
Hi Tom,
Nice talking with you this afternoon. I would encourage your group to check out the following four websites:

1.      VT Suicide Prevention Center - This is a really good one – specific to efforts in VT including crisis information, resources, policy suggestions, media guidelines, etc.

Vermont Suicide Prevention Center  We create health promoting communities, in which people of all ages have the knowledge, attitudes, skills and resources to reduce the risk of suicide in VT.

2.      American Foundation for Suicide Prevention  - The programs that are being offered locally in February here in St. J are Talk Saves Lives and safeTALK.  Candy Fox is our local AFSP liaison and can be reached at  Home — AFSP

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the nation's largest non-profit dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.

3.      Umatter website (geared towards adolescents)

4.      Center for Health and Learning who does the Umatter work in VT.  Nicole Miller is the contact person I went through to set up the Umatter training on the 15th:  802-254-6590 or

If you’re interested in looking at any of the data, results checklist work or meeting minutes from our Mentally Healthy Collaborative Action Network group, let me know and I can share those with you too.

Thanks!  Kari
Kari White, Director of Quality Initiatives/Compliance and Privacy Officer
Northern Counties Health Care, Inc.     165 Sherman Drive, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819   Phone: 802-748-9405 x1517

2/6  Michelle
I've been trying to do start a draft of a website to help others in the area.. because, younger people will look online first often before they ask for help...

it still needs a lot of help...

I want to put in a piece about hospital being an option, and  The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) .. explaining a hospital cannot deny you without insurance...  unfortunately, some one would pay for the rest of their lives for a week in a hospital without insurance, that debt scares most people away from trying a hospital..


Thanks for all your hard work on this, website sounds like a great idea!

Some information about hospitals that may be helpful:

·         Anyone can go to any emergency room at a hospital and you’re right,  they can’t deny you. If person is looking specifically for mental health care, most ER’s will page the local mental health services to assess and give referrals and/or support, if they don’t already have those staff on-site, but sometimes people have to ask directly for that.

·         If someone is looking for a mental health hospital admission, they often go to their local ER first, or call local mental health services for a screening.  Most psychiatric hospital units require a medical clearance prior to admission anyway, so the ED is a good choice, unless the person may be interested in other less intensive options, such as outpatient therapy. Generally, the least restrictive option is best to try first, but always depends on the situation, of course.

·         Once someone is screened by staff for a possible hospital admission, the next step is determining if the person meets criteria for hospitalization, which is usually some level of concern around safety. Then staff call hospitals for available beds, which is often challenging, as beds are often in short supply. Interestingly, hospitals can refuse admission based on someone being “too acute” or not wanting to take medication, for example. One private hospital that I know of (Brattleboro Retreat) can actually refuse admission if someone does not have insurance, only because they are private.  Other hospitals will work with people without insurance and try to help them apply for insurance or do paperwork for special funds most hospitals have for people who are low income.

Hope this is helpful, and looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Take care!


Minute Notes - Deb/Susan

Mental Health Group meeting Tuesday Feb. 6, 2018 at the Craftsbury Library.

Present: Debbie, Barb S., Norm, Will B., Michelle, Patrick, Alden L., Sharon R., Monique R., Tom T., Susan H., Emily K., Kim L.

1. Introductions all around

2. Tom's recap of his meeting with NCHC: they have a suicide prevention initiative underway to which they’ve invited us.  The Northeast Kingdom Human Services is an organization in crisis with no CEO. They are underfunded and over busy.  We will need to persist to find the right person to talk with at NKHS and also move forward on our own.   Tom shared a booklet "Suicide Prevention" shown to group and discussion about purchasing copies ($4/book). Tom has reserved 3 seats (1 adult, 2 adolescents) at next "You Matter" meeting with St. J Academy and Lyndon Institute

3. Michelle shared her new website. It is a terrific work in progress. 

4. Monique, Will, and others shared more info about resources such as 5 designated Psychiatric Hospitals in VT (Barre, Burlington, Rutland, Brattleboro, Wyndham(?) yet nothing close by. Highest risk for potential suicides is the week after they are released from a hospital.

5. Craftsbury Outdoor Center has offered discounted use of their fitness equipment.

Action Plan:

*Informational table at Craftsbury Town Meeting. Barb will organize with help. People are to gather brochures, pamphlets, resource lists, etc that are appropriate to hand out. Tom will have "Suicide Prevention" booklets on display. Send all stuff to Debbie.

*Emily will touch base with Merri at the Academy about "You Matter"

*Suggested that Advocacy Group of Debbie, Norm, Eric Britton, Michelle and possibly Justices of the Peace be formed as initial contacts for the community. This needs careful thought as to how this will work.

*NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Health) might be a good resource for trainings/presentations.

*A "Walk for Wesley" suggested by Patrick as a fundraiser

*Tom will investigate getting more of the suicide pamphlets

Next Meeting will be in March.