Hon. John T. Broderick, Jr., Senior Director of External Affairs for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, addressed the Marianapolis community, encouraging candid conversations around mental health to ensure that those living with or impacted by mental health disorders are not stigmatized, shamed, or silenced. Justice Broderick shared his own family’s experience with mental illness, encouraging a shift in the way we view mental health disorders and shedding light on a topic often relegated to darkness.
Beginning in adolescence, Justice Broderick’s oldest son experienced years of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, masked by alcohol abuse that led to an eventual misdiagnosis of alcoholism. After experiencing job losses, homelessness, and several unsuccessful trips to rehab, he assaulted his father and was sent to prison. While in prison, he was properly diagnosed and treated for the underlying mental health disorders that he had been living with for more than a decade.
Since that time, Justice Broderick has made it his mission to share his family’s story, bring awareness to the country’s ongoing mental health crisis, and shift the conversation around mental health disorders -- one audience member at a time. He spends much of his time speaking throughout the region to raise awareness and reduce stigmatization, as well as encourage open dialogues, treatment seeking, and engagement with those living with mental health disorders.
In 2016, Justice Broderick co-chaired the Change Direction New Hampshire campaign, a state-wide mental health awareness initiative, and now leads Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s R.E.A.C.T. Mental Health Awareness Campaign, providing resources and support, as well as clear next steps to take when others exhibit any of the Five Signs of emotional suffering.
Prior to joining Dartmouth-Hitchcock in 2017, Justice Broderick was a member of the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1995 until 2010, serving as Chief Justice for seven years and focusing his efforts on justice system accessibility and affordability. After leaving the bench, he became Dean of the Law School at the University of New Hampshire, advancing the school’s standing and founding the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy. He spent more than twenty years as a civil trial lawyer in private practice and served as president of the New Hampshire Bar Association and the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association.