The SHINE Initiative
Shining a Light on Mental Illness
The SHINE Initiative will be a leader in the effort to recognize mental illness in children and young adults as a mainstream health issue.
In pursuit of this mission, the SHINE Initiative develops funding and strategic alliances to improve public awareness and understanding of mental health issues, research and treatment.
It began as a private conversation in 2003 and has evolved into a public conversation about mental illness.
One day in 2003 the directors and employees of Fidelity Bank in North Central Massachusetts pondered the question “how can we make a positive impact on a social issue that lacks popular attention and support?” What emerged was a commitment to improving the mental health of the community.
And thus, in the spring of 2004, the SHINE Initiative was officially launched to “shine a light on mental illness.” Soon after, an Advisory Board comprised of leaders in the field of healthcare, along with family advocates and corporate and community leaders, was established to help guide the SHINE Initiative.
In recent years the SHINE Initiative has honed it’s focus on mental health of children and young adults.
Why? Quite simply, because we know that half of lifetime causes of mental illness begin by age 14.
We also believe that through education and information-sharing we can have a lifelong and positive impact on the mental health and total wellness of our communities. We are proud to note that in recent years several school systems and institutions of higher learning have partnered with us to raise awareness of mental illness and to help diffuse and debunk some of the misconceptions and myths that have fueled stigma for generations.
-Welcomed Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health & Human Services, as guest speaker at the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce breakfast (September 2015)
-Presentations to students at Leominster High School (September 2015)
-Mental Health Conference with Mount Wachusett Community College (October 2015)
-Co-presenter at Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Youth Wellness conference (October 2015)
-Annual “Keep Your Mind Open” gala fundraiser (October 2015)
-Mental Health speaker series at Perkins School, Lancaster (October-November 2015)
-Presentation to Gateway to College students, Mount Wachusett Community College (November 2015)
-Mental Health & Stigma Workshop for students at the Winchendon School (January 2016)
-Presentation to the Westford Parent Connection (January 2016)
The SHINE Initiative is proud to be guided by the following leaders from our community:
Edward Manzi (chairman)
Chairman & CEO, Fidelity Bank, Leominster MA
James Notaro (Secretary)
Commercial Marketing & Sales Support, Fidelity Bank
President & CEO, Heywood Hospital, Gardner MA
President, Appleseed Personnel, Leominster MA
President & CEO, Community Healthlink, Worcester MA
Jennifer Flanagan (honorary)
State Senator, Worcester & Middlesex District
President & CEO, Coghlin Electrical Contractors, Worcester MA
Dr. W. Peter Metz
UMass Memorial Department of Psychiatry, Worcester MA
ERP Transformation Leader, Nypro, Clinton MA
Branch Manager, Fidelity Bank
COO, HealthAlliance Hospital, Leominster MA
Chief Human Resources Officer
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Quincy MA
“Joing the Conversation” about mental illness.
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