Building Community Resilience in New Hampshire

Building Community Resilience in New Hampshire

hands in a circle
UNH Extension and the communities in Kearsarge, Mascoma and Haverhill areas are addressing barriers to health and helping individuals, families and  communities thrive in the face of adversity.

Sign Up for Email Updates


Upcoming Trainings

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it helps trainees identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Learn More 

Take Charge of Your Health

This program helps people discover problem-solving strategies to deal with fatigue, pain and frustration. 

Learn More 

article
UNH Cooperative Extension Receives Nearly $400,000 to Build Resiliency in Rural NH Communities 

UNH Cooperative Extension has received a two-year grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Read More

Project Lead Contact Information

The UNH Extension-led project team provides technical assistance and facilitation to help communities identify where efforts can have the most impact. Local coordinators in each of the 3 communities will provide local leadership, “boots on the ground” support for the project and will help manage activities within the community.

Meet the Project Team
  • Melissa Lee, UNH Extension
  • Sue Cagle, UNH Extension
  • Kendra Lewis, UNH Extension
  • Alyssa Lemmermann, UNH Extension
  • Beth Gustafson Wheeler, Foundation for Healthy Communities

This work is supported through a Rural Health and Safety Education grant from USDA/NIFA. LEARN MORE

About the Effort

In the Fall of 2020, UNH Extension received a Rural Health and Safety Education Grant from USDA/NIFA. This grant supports efforts around building resilience in rural communities, focusing on three regions within Grafton and Merrimack counties: Kearsarge, Mascoma, and Haverhill Area. The UNH Extension project team will work to increase community collaboration in rural areas to address barriers to health and helping individuals and families thrive in light of challenges brought on by or deepened by COVID-19.

Project Components

Throughout the duration of this project, Extension staff will work closely with local community partners to provide tools and resources to help these rural NH communities “bounce back” in the face of adversity and move forward to improve outcomes for children, families, and communities. This will be accomplished through assisting communities with:

  • Identifying assets and challenges
  • Identifying which priorities are most feasible to address
  • Choosing relevant strategies and activating plan
  • Providing education and skill building around adversity and building resilience
  • Building connections across the 3 regions
Project Frameworks

The UNH Extension project team will be utilizing common frameworks within the 3 communities to help guide project activities. 

"Like trees, in order for a community to thrive, there are necessary factors that contribute  to the health and well-being of people who live, work, and play there,” Melissa Lee, project co-director and Youth and Family Resiliency Field Specialist for UNH Extension.

Pair of ACES

This model will be utilized to explore the relationship between Adverse Community Environments (“soil factors”) and Adverse Community Experiences.

Soil Factors

The health of the soil in which a tree is planted determines the health of the tree. For example, a fruit tree may not bear fruit if the soil it is planted in does not include the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive.

Like trees, in order for a community to thrive, there are necessary factors that contribute to the health and well-being of people who live, work, and play there.

These factors in our community “soil” help people to be resilient to challenges and to thrive.

Community Change Cycle

This model will be utilized to inspire action at all levels.

  • Work Together
  • Assess Your Community
  • Set Your Priorities
  • Choose Your Strategies
  • Activate Your Plan
  • Measure Your Impact
Learn More

“Needs in the arena of personal, community and system health and well-being are immense, due to new and intensified adversities that act as barriers to health. We look forward to engaging in the community change cycle process, bringing together increased energy and ability to build community resilience to not only overcome but to thrive in the face of adversity.”

~Melissa Lee, project co-director and Youth and Family Resiliency Field Specialist for UNH Extension

    How?

    Each of the three regions will create their own unique action plan- led and identified by community members. Sustainable change requires community members to take the lead in identifying needs, setting priorities, and moving action forward to build thriving, resilient communities.

    $10,000 is available for each community to implement an action plan and the UNH Extension project team will provide technical assistance and facilitation support to help communities identify where efforts can have the most impact.

    Local coordinators in each of the 3 communities will provide local leadership and “boots on the ground” support for the project and will help manage activities within the community.

    Haverhill Area

    Joseph Mitchell

    Student Assistance Program

    Woodsville High School

    Coordinator

    Haverhill Are Community Resilience Project

    jmitchell@sau23.org

    Kearsarge Area

    .

    Mascoma Area

    Eula Lee Kozma

    Executive Director

    Friends of Mascoma Foundation

    9 On the Common Way, Unit 5

    Canaan, NH  03741

    603.632.4542

    elkozma@friendsofmascoma.org