December 14, 2022 Breakfast Meeting Notes

Dec. 14, 2022 Breakfast Meeting Notes


Mike reminded us of the four-way test and asked us all to recite it.  He also shared the annual report the annual report from Mayhew (the boy’s equivalent of the Circle Program).


50/50 was won by Greg.

Peggy won the chance to draw for the ace of spades but drew the 4 of clubs.


Our guest speaker today was Nicole Mitchell. She is director of Grafton County Alternative Sentencing Program. She is new to this position (prior to that was the alcohol and drug counselor in the program). 


The alternative sentencing program works with misdemeanor (3-6 months) and felony diversions (12-18 months) for first-time offenders. These are usually drug-related convictions. They help clients get a doctor, a dentist, food support etc. After the program ends, they are referred for continuing support.At the end of the program they have a graduation ceremony.


There is also a court-ordered program called CARE +, for people who are not doing well on probation and parole, which is very similar to the diversion problems. Note that addiction and mental health issues are powerful drivers of criminal behavior and need to be addressed. They also run a restorative justice program that helps young people atone for their offenses and repair the damage that they’ve done. 


Finally, Grafton County has a mental health court. This program works with community mental health centers to deal with persons with severe and/or persistent mental health problems. They are trying to intervene earlier with people with drug or mental health issues so that they get the help they need BEFORE they get involved with the court system. There is a shortage of mental health providers and there also isn’t enough staff to administer the programs. They are finding that police departments, community mental health organizations, and other local programs to get people the assistance they need.


Questions: Denise asked for a phone number for a referral, given the 6 month wait for mental health services. New Hampshire Rapid Response can be reached at 833-710-6477. They will contact the local agencies, which will try to get a team out to the person to get them the help they need. Note that this number will reach a call center in PA, so don’t be surprised that they aren’t located in our area; they serve as a coordinator for many different regions.


Nancy asked if there is any coordination with 211 (drug addiction hotline), since people having a methamphetamine crisis may be psychotic. There is some coordination but not to the level that there should be. People in distress can call 988 (suicide prevention hotline) but this is a national hotline and may not help a person access local help. Sharon noted that people have to want to get help in order to get assistance. People cannot be forced to get help unless it is deemed a medical emergency. 


Alicia asked about success rates of treatment. People often don’t have a successful treatment program the first time, so people can get repeat treatments; they will start with a more intensive inpatient treatment and gradually step down the level of care to outpatient. When a person goes out into the community is when they are likely to run into trouble. We need more supportive housing, especially in the central and northern parts of the state. Housing for women, particularly women with children, is in especially short supply.


Braden was absent but sent his thanks for everyone’s help with HHC. Numbers were down because of the weather but we still made about $500. WE had 4 carolers at the Pemi Youth Center last week and the kids were very happy to get their gifts. 


Mike shared a letter from Harry Decker. Harry was a past president of the club and he wrote to Mike about their Christmas parade in Atlantis, FL.  He has been planning a trip to NH but had a stroke last summer and is still recovering; he and his wife hope to get up here next year. 


Denise recognized that NH is ranking #1 in the area of giving, due to the Common Man/Rotary project for Ukraine. Steve, Alex, Lisa and Susan are headed back to Poland today to play Santa Claus (Father Winter in Ukraine) and they will visit a number of orphanages. We’ve raised $2.3 million and have spent all but $350,000 of it. We will be featured in Rotary Magazine in February with the Common Man for Ukraine fund so we hope that that will spur a new round of contributions.


Finally Mike read the Rotary Vision Statement. Have a great day, and carry this vision forward into everything you do!


Respectfully submitted,


Lora Miller, secretary