Hope is what this website is all about

Today's NH4Youth blog is the landing page for hope.

Hope is what the Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative website is all about.

Our audience

I watched the Communications and Social Marketing Workgroup work hard to identify who would visit the site and what they would be looking for.

Our primary audience is youth with behavioral health challenges and their families. Another audience is the Collaborative members who want to keep track of the work on the CBHC plan.

Finally, policy makers and decision leaders will find information important to implementing statewide change and making it sustainable.

Our goal: Transforming the children's behavioral health system in NH

The website is a platform for the Collaborative collective impact effort. The goal: nothing short of transforming the children's behavioral health system in New Hampshire.

That sounds huge and difficult: the health system is not a system at all, and it will take building and rebuilding across cultures, settings, insurance types, diagnoses, ages, and perspectives. But I believe the shared vision that collective impact requires will make all the difference.

This shared vision of system transformation is reflected throughout NH4Youth.org. Yet for each of the audiences, finding hope may look different.

What does hope look like? 

For youth and their families, hope may look like recovery from mental health and substance use challenges on an individual level. Finding care that is accessible, affordable, transparent, and effective; getting themselves or their loved one well.

From my experience, finding care for a loved one was frustrating and at times left me feeling hopeless. I hope this website can connect people with care that makes a difference. Or there may be youth and families newly empowered and ready to play a role in systems change.

For Collaborative members, the hope might be better outcomes at their organization, the setting they work in, such as school, health, or juvenile justice, or statewide across settings. 

Get Involved

The website offers a mechanism for getting involved and communicating progress on the CBHC plan. Policy makers and decision leaders will find the toeholds they need to climb through a system that is difficult, with its siloes and own language, to become a part of system transformation.

The website doesn't yet have enough from and for youth; I know we have to work on this, and if you have ideas, give me a call or email me.

It will take all of us

Do you think that "hope is the thing with feathers-that perches in the soul" as Emily Dickinson wrote? I do.

But know that the Collaborative thing with feathers is grounded in reality, schooled in the voices of hundreds of youth and families, the planning of dozens of organizations, and the careful science of many researchers.

It will take all of our hope to pull off transformation.

So get involved: join a workgroup, write a blog and start learning more about mental health and substance use issues.