Judges have lots of chances to see people at their worst, but nothing could prepare then-NH Supreme Court justice John Broderick for the lowest point in his own son’s life, when the young Broderick violently attacked his father and wound up in the NH State Prison. It was a turning point for them both, with the son finally getting treatment for a hidden mental illness and the father finding a new mission for his own life. In the years since, Broderick educated himself about the state of mental health in NH and has become a champion for awareness and reform. Now as the leader for Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s R.E.A.C.T. Mental Health Awareness Program, Broderick works with high school students, educators and others to spread the word that mental illness, just like any other disease, has its signs and treatments and should not carry a stigma of shame or fear. “Students can change the conversation,” says Broderick, and that’s how we can all change direction on mental health.
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