The Dover Mental Health Alliance (DMHA), a newly formed coalition, is building a mental health friendly community in Dover, one place at a time.
The Dover Public Library was designated a safe, judgement-free “Place” by the Alliance, the first of its kind in the state of New Hampshire. Additionally, the Dover Public Library was also designated as a Recovery Friendly Workplace.
“We find that we get people from all walks of life into our building, and a lot of our work has veered into the social services sector,” says Library Director Denise LaFrance. “As Librarians, this is not something we have had training for, but we want to be able to help.”
The DMHA “Place” designation is available to any business, organization, or institution that strives to support their employees, colleagues, and customers’ mental health. It is a safe and judgement-free space for all. The DMHA vision is to create a culture that understands, embraces and addresses the complexities of mental health. The mission is to build a resilient community that is educated, responsive and conscious of the impact of mental illness.
Inspired by the Recovery Friendly Workplace model, which includes providing support, resources, and trainings related to substance use disorder and behavioral health tailored to the specific needs of the business, part of the requirements to become a “Place” include:
- Learn, accept and display the Dover Mental Health Alliance’s (DMHA) vision and mission statement.
- Maintain a list of primary resources available that could help someone if they are experiencing an emotional crisis.
- Provide a safe space without judgment or discrimination for anyone seeking refuge at the “Place.”
- Schedule an employee team to attend adverse childhood experience (ACE) training.
- Send an employee team to a Mental Health First Aid training.
- Ensure that a trained employee is onsite at all times during operating hours.
- Display the PLACE decal at the entrance of each organization. (see attached for the PLACE decal artwork).
The Dover Teen Center and Arts in Reach became the second and third organizations in the City of Dover to receive the “PLACE” designation.
The Dover Mental Health Alliance (DMHA) is part of the local, Strafford County non-profit community mental health center, Community Partners (communitypartnersnh.org). For more information about the Dover Mental Health Alliance and upcoming trainings, visit www.facebook.com/DoverMHA/, or email Suzanne Weete at firstname.lastname@example.org.