NAMI NH: Support and Resources for Student’s Families,
Staff and the Community Impacted by
Mental Health Challenges and Suicide
The pandemic has brought incredible awareness to the struggles our students are experiencing, the challenges their families are facing and the impact to school staff and the community at large. During this 30 minute presentation, participants will learn about the resources, education and supports that NAMI NH (National Alliance on Mental Illness) can offer especially during these tough times. NAMI NH offers free education programs to parents/caregivers of children with mental health challenges as well as classes to individuals who have adult loved ones with mental illness. NAMI NH delivers professional development to school staff on topics including anxiety, depression and suicide prevention. The children’s staff offer peer support to families of children and youth with significant mental health challenges. Learn about these opportunities and others to share with the community you support.
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 Laurie Foster:
Laurie Foster began her work with National Alliance on Mental Illness New Hampshire (NAMI NH) as a volunteer in 2006 and a Family Peer Support Specialist in 2014. She later became a Family Peer Support Supervisor in 2018 and is now the Director of Children & Youth programs at NAMI NH. She was a founding Board member for Granite Pathways, a peer support community in Manchester, NH that provides hope, dignity, and support to adults with mental illness.
Laurie is certified as a Support Group Facilitator State Trainer and has also completed the Parent Peer Support Provider Supervisor training by the Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA). She coordinates and supports the training of Family Peer Support Specialists (FPSS) to obtain certification and recertification within two years. Laurie promotes the family voice and knowledge of serious emotional disturbance through public presentations and professional trainings and has established parent support groups in qualifying communities. She is a member of the Wellness and Primary Prevention Council and speaks to various community groups about children’s mental health issues. Laurie is a graduate of Granite State College and earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Services.
New Hampshire School Counselor Association