New Exhibit Aims to Boost Mental Health Awareness in New Hampshire

Deconstructing Stigma exhibit to launch in June, empowering mental health awareness efforts by McLean Hospital, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, and NH Community Behavioral Health Association

May 31, 2023

McLean Hospital, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT), and the NH Community Behavioral Health Association (NH CBHA) are bringing an inspirational exhibit highlighting stories of people living with mental illness to New Hampshire.

The Manchester exhibit is part of Deconstructing Stigma: Changing Attitudes About Mental Health, McLean’s international mental health awareness campaign, featuring compelling portraits of courageous people who volunteer to share their stories with the hope of changing how people living with mental illness are viewed.

Deconstructing Stigma initially launched in 2016 with a large installation at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Since then, McLean has partnered with airports and other public venues worldwide to feature volunteers who share their stories about their experiences living with mental illness. The Manchester exhibit features several volunteers from New Hampshire.

“We are excited to bring Deconstructing Stigma to New Hampshire and are grateful to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and our advocacy partners for supporting our efforts to heighten awareness and spark conversation about mental health,” said Scott J. O’Brien, director of Education Outreach for McLean Hospital.

“Most of all, however, I want to express our deepest thanks to the volunteers of Deconstructing Stigma who have bravely shared their personal stories in hopes of helping others.”

The exhibit, which was installed across from baggage claim 3-5 at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, features individuals from New Hampshire and beyond who have experienced the impact of mental health challenges.

Deconstructing Stigma participant Keith

Keith, a participant in Deconstructing Stigma, shares his struggle with mental health

“It is our hope that this display, which is the first in the state of New Hampshire, encourages more open conversations about mental health here in the Granite State,” said Airport Director Ted Kitchens, AAE.

“As one of the largest points of entry into the state for residents and visitors alike, it is important for our facility to start a conversation about destigmatizing mental health and start addressing this real public health emergency that the pandemic served to exacerbate.”

McLean is honored to have local collaborators, including the New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Association, which is dedicated to providing mental health support to individuals and families throughout New Hampshire.

Patricia Carty, CEO and president of The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester said, “The Deconstructing Stigma exhibit is a powerful and important initiative that aims to challenge and dismantle the pervasive stigmas surrounding mental health. By showcasing personal stories and experiences, the exhibit humanizes individuals who have faced mental health challenges and encourages empathy, understanding, and support.”

“The exhibit is a commendable effort that contributes to the ongoing movement to transform how we perceive, understand, and address mental health challenges. It serves as a reminder that we all have a role to play in breaking down stigma and building a more inclusive and supportive society for everyone.”

About Manchester-Boston Regional Airport

Strategically situated in the heart of New England, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is located less than fifty miles north of Boston, Massachusetts, and less than an hour’s drive from the region’s most popular ski areas, scenic seacoast beaches, and peaceful lakefront resorts.

MHT is the premier aviation gateway for the region. For more information, visit their website.

About the NH Community Behavioral Health Association

The NH Community Behavioral Health Association is an organization comprised of ten community mental health centers throughout New Hampshire.

These centers serve individuals in New Hampshire who are living with—and recovering from—mental illness and emotional disorders. This network of mental health centers provides ongoing and emergency behavioral health services to New Hampshire residents, both children and adults.

The goal of the association is to raise awareness about the crucial role played by community-based mental health centers to ensure public safety and overall public health for all New Hampshire residents. In addition, the association serves as an advocate for a strong mental health system across New Hampshire. For more information, visit the NH CBHA website.

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