Mental Health & Suicide – A Community Conversation

An interactive program with information from mental health professionals across the region
Edited to include notes from the May 21st gathering 

The program was an intimate, informative, and supportive conversation:

  • Participants included service organization leaders; survivors of suicide loss; the principal of a local high school; and concerned community members, in addition to mental health professionals.
  • A long list of local and national resources was shared, as well as when and how to access them.
  • Discussion highlighted opportunities to increase awareness and support for those affected by mental health and at risk of suicide and addressed participants’ specific questions and concerns.
  • All agreed:
    • More small group conversations are needed, in a wide range of settings
    • Each of us can help normalize the topic as we speak with those around us
    • We all can do better at noticing and connecting in simple ways with those who may need some love and encouragement

We learned:

  • 988 is the new Crisis and Suicide Lifeline:
    • Anyone can call: concerned loved ones, someone in crisis, someone who just needs a person to talk to
    • It’s a safe space to talk, get support, get safely through a crisis
    • They will not send the police or
    • You can text, chat, or call
    • To learn more, or to chat online visit the official 988 website:
  • Signs of suicide risk.
  • There are many resources and support groups
    • Locally, regionally, and online, many available through NAMI NH
  • Fostering connection and purpose reduces two major risk factors:
    • The perception of being a burden
    • Social disconnect/isolation
  • How to talk to people we are concerned about
    • Create space for an open conversation, without judgment, advice-giving, or telling the other what to do.
    • Often, a calm, compassionate listening ear is all that’s needed to de-escalate a crisis situation.
    • Ask directly:
      • Have you thought about suicide?
      • Do you have a plan?
      • Do you have the means to act on this plan?
      • What keeps you going?
      • Who are your supports?
      • What do you need?
  • Restricting access to firearms can make a difference
  • Not talking about suicide is the problem! It’s uncomfortable but it is essential to save lives. When we don’t talk about mental health and suicide, we contribute to the stigma around these issues, and the isolation and shame of those at risk.

For those unable to attend:

  • Contact CCL for materials distributed by Headrest, NAMI NH, and Dartmouth Health (email, call 603-795-0603, or stop by the CCL Office).
  • The important conversation will continue. Watch for opportunities to gather, share, and learn together.


988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline – Call or text 988 or visit

NH Rapid Response Access Point – Call or text 1-833-710-6477 or visit

Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741741 or visit the National site for NAMI

The Trevor Project (LGBTQ+ Youth) – Call 1-866-488-7386 / text 678678 or visit

The Connect Program Information & Resource Line – 1-800-242-6264 or visit 

Always call 911 in case of an emergency

Community Conversation Hosts :

Al Carbonneau has worked for Headrest for over 20yrs now. He has managed Headrest’s Crisis Call Center since 2020. Al is on the NH Suicide Prevention Council and the Survivor of Suicide Loss subcommittee. Al also facilitates a Survivor of Suicide Loss support group at Headrest.

Laurie Veillette, Psy.D. is a clinical health psychologist and team lead for the Mental Health team.

Every Wednesday, CommunityCare of Lyme lifts up a wellness topic, embracing the widest possible definition of individual and community well-being. We include local and national resources, individual and group programs and practices, and personal stories, videos, or songs that have something to teach us all. We are always seeking guest contributors! 

If you have a wellness-themed topic you would like to share or learn more about, please reach out to

Shelby Wood
Manager of Volunteer Participation
CommunityCare of Lyme
802-468-7776 (cell)
603-795-0603 (CCL office and help line)