The Magnify Voices Expressive Arts Contest:
Magnifying student voice about mental health in NH
The Magnify Voices Express Arts Contest for NH students in grades 5-12 held its 3rd competition in 2021. Perhaps in part due to the pandemic, Granite State students shared deeply personal stories and insight into youth mental health challenges at a whole new level. This workshop will provide an overview of the NH Children’s System of Care Magnify Voices Expressive Arts Contest and showcase how the contest is working to achieve its goals of raising awareness, erasing stigma, and effectuating change in New Hampshire. The presentation will demonstrate the positive impact the contest has had on New Hampshire’s students and on their ability to influence systemic change in the Granite State. Presenters include Michele Watson, NH Family Network Coordinator, NAMI NH & Chairperson, Magnify Voices Expressive Arts Contest and John Webb, School Counselor, Oyster River High School.
About Michele Watson:
Michele Watson is the New Hampshire Family Network Coordinator at NAMI New Hampshire (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Michele educates parents/caregivers whose children are coping with mental health challenges, individuals who want to improve their advocacy skills, and the community on better understanding mental illness. She also teaches NAMI NH’s Connect Suicide Prevention Training Program to school staff and community organizations and is a certified trainer for Youth Mental Health First Aid. Michele has significant project management experience, substantial experience facilitating and working with parent support groups, and demonstrated ability to bring together community partners to improve outcomes for youth and families. Her skill in convening families, youth, and stakeholders has been integral to developing key partnerships that have led to increased opportunities and successful outcomes. Michele is the NH Children’s System of Care Communications Committee chairperson as well as chairperson for the Magnify Voices Expressive Arts Contest.
Michele is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and earned her MBA from Babson College. She is a 2013 graduate of the UNH Institute on Disability Leadership Series and currently serves on the boards of NH Challenge and the Parent Information Center.
About John Webb:
John Webb, new Director of School Counseling for Oyster River High School serving the towns of Durham, Lee, Madbury and Barrington. Previously, I spent the past twenty-one years as a school counselor from Goffstown High School, and was honored to have been named the 2018-19 NH School Counselor of the Year. I am a former graduate of Oyster River, as well as UNH (BA in Psychology, 1991 and M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology, 1997). I also play bass and sing in a local cover band, known as "The Petty Thieves", and love spending my free time running trails and writing fiction.
New Hampshire School Counselor Association