By Tom Sedoric and Casey Snyder

In our inaugural episode of “Beyond Your Balance Sheet"—an ongoing series delving into the parts of life beyond the balance sheet that contributes to overall wellness—our host, Laura Knoy, sits down in conversation with John Broderick to discuss mental health care and stigma in the United States. 

John Broderick is the Senior Director of External Affairs at Dartmouth Hitchcock and previously served as Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. 

After a very personal experience with his son, who suffered from severe mental illness, Broderick made it his mission to raise awareness of mental health stigma in this country, and the work we need to do to make care readily available for those who need it. Particularly among young people, mental illness is rampant, and children are not receiving the help they need. According to a survey of students in 2019, over 46% of high school girls in the U.S. are depressed, and 26% have considered taking their own lives. In New Hampshire alone, the CDC reports that the suicide rate increased 56% from 2007 to 2017 among young people. We cannot turn a blind eye to these startling statistics. 

In many cases, children and young adults are afraid to speak up for fear of not being taken seriously. John described his own journey to understand mental illness and how he has ended up doing this work today: 

“Understanding is harder than forgiveness. Forgiveness is easy to say and understanding is harder to do. And I now understand mental health problems, I understand the mistakes we made in dealing with them… the work I’ve been doing in the last five years of my life is the most important work I’ve done in my life.” 

There needs to be a complete revolution in how we think about mental health and treat those suffering from mental illness in the United States. In his own words, “The way we treat mental illness in the United States in 2021 is immoral.” 

In collaboration with Dartmouth Hitchcock, John Broderick has developed the REACT campaign, which is designed to help identify and help those experiencing mental health issues. REACT stands for:

  • Recognize the signs of emotional suffering
  • Express concern and offer support
  • Act now and talk to someone you trust—parent, teacher, coach, relative, friend, doctor
  • Care enough to follow through and follow up
  • Text ‘Signs’ to 741-741 or call 603-448-4400



Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of John Broderick.