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Shaheen Visits Dover High School to Discuss Teen Mental Health & Suicide Prevention amid Pandemic

nami dover

(Dover, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) visited Dover High School today to meet with students and staff to learn about how the school is addressing surging rates of mental health challenges among teenagers during the pandemic, including through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Connect Youth Leaders in Suicide Prevention program. Students led the meeting and shared how the program has helped them.

“I’m so grateful to the students who spoke with me today about the mental health challenges they and their peers face and the initiative they took to spearhead efforts to help. The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on young Granite Staters, who’ve experienced unprecedented isolation, disrupted learning and hardship during such formative years. Mental health and suicide prevention efforts are more important now than ever to support our students,” said Shaheen. “Today’s conversations will stick with me as Congress continues to craft legislation that responds holistically to the challenges created by the pandemic. Young Granite Staters should not suffer alone in this crisis, and it’s programs like this that make a difference.”

Shaheen is a leader in the Senate working to shine light on the mental health crisis and promote suicide prevention efforts. Shaheen has fought to secure funding for mental health care and substance misuse services during the pandemic, including $4.25 billion in funding through last year’s emergency COVID relief legislation and nearly $4 billion through the American Rescue Plan. She’s also hosted virtual discussions on the youth and teen mental health epidemic, and she invited Maureen O’Dea, President of the New Hampshire School Counselors Association and Director of School Counseling at Londonderry High School, as her virtual guest to President Biden’s joint address to Congress to highlight the need to address teen mental health challenges. Shaheen also previously introduced the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act, to increase the availability of mental health resources in America’s public schools.