Every individual realizes her or his own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, is able to make a contribution to her or his community, feels okay reaching out for help when times get tough, and knows where and how to reach out for help.

The PositiveBalance Regional Mental Health Campaign

is our strategy to reduce stigma and myths around mental health and suicide and increase positive messaging about belonging and seeking help and where to find that help.  Research shows that connectedness and social capital together may build mental well-being and protect against suicidal behaviors by decreasing isolation, encouraging adaptive coping behaviors, and by increasing belongingness, personal value, and worth, to help build resilience in the face of adversity.

Video of the Month: Suicide Prevention: Choose to Stay


Measures and Indicators:

The Mentally Healthy CAN is trying to turn the curve on mental health in our region.


Everyone in Cal & So. Essex Counties is mentally healthy by 2020.

% of middle school students who ever attempted suicide

  • Actual Value 7% 7%
  • Target Value 0% 0%

% of high school students who ever attempted suicide, past 12 months

  • Actual Value 6% 6%
  • Target Value 0% 0%

% of adults with poor mental health/frequent mental distress

  • Actual Value 12% 12%
  • Target Value 9% 9%

% of adults with four or more Adverse Childhood Experiences

  • Actual Value 18% 18%
  • Target Value 10% 10%

Tools & Resources


NEAR (Neurobiology, Epigenetics, ACEs, Resilience) Science  Stressful events that happen in our early years of development affect us in ways that last our entire lives.  NEAR Science gives a better, holistic picture of a person’s experiences over his or her lifetime; it also incorporates resilience, which is an important factor in the outcomes of a person’s life.

Suicide – There is no single cause to suicide. It most often occurs when stressors exceed the current coping abilities of a person.  Knowing the signs, finding the words, and reaching out for help can prevent suicide and save lives.

Trauma-Informed Care/Worksite Wellness – A trauma-informed approach to care acknowledges that health care organizations and care teams need to have a complete picture of a patient’s life situation — past and present — in order to provide effective health care services with a healing orientation. Adopting trauma-informed practices can potentially improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, and health outcomes, as well as provider and staff wellness. It can also help reduce avoidable care and excess costs for both the health care and social service sectors.

Kindness – Research has shown that performing an act of kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise that has been tested.

Join Us!

E-mail kariw@nchcvt.org to find out more

Photo Gallery


We’re currently working on four strategies:

PositiveBalance Regional Mental Health Campaign – radio ads, printed materials, mental health promotion and suicide prevention training events for community members and organizations. 2019 Colors of the Kingdom After Action Report.

Umatter for Youth and Young Adults – engaging young people in promoting wellness in their school communities, fostering their own protective factors and developing critical life skills for resiliency. Umatter YYA After Action Report.

Healing Accountable Health Community – an organizational change model to support organizations in nurturing and sustaining trauma-informed practices and cultivating healing environments by increasing organizational resilience, improving workforce experience, and ultimately supporting organizations in responding to and reducing the impact of trauma.

Building Flourishing Communities – transformational process model for improving intergenerational health by building community capacity and disseminating NEAR (Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience) science.  Understanding ACEs.

Schedule a Building Flourishing Communities Learning Event

10 + 1 =

You Can Give Help, You Can Get Help

We all need help sometimes.  Seeking help is an act of bravery.  If you need someone to talk to or are worried about a friend or loved one, FREE, CONFIDENTIAL, PROFESSIONAL support is available 24/7:

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255






Chat Online with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ 

Text with the VT CrisisText Line by texting VT to 741741