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.
- Marlborough High School’s Student Wellness Advisory Team is launched (January 2017)
- Shepherd Hill Regional High School’s Student Wellness Advisory Team is launched (January 2017)
- Northbridge Parents Forum presentation (January 2017)
- Lunenburg High School parents presentation (January 2017)
- Welcomed Kevin Hines, suicide attempt survivor, as guest speaker at Worcester State University (February 2017)
- Groton-Dunstable High School students presentation (February 2017)
- Gateway to College students, Mount Wachusett Community College presentation (March 2017)
- Mental Health Conference with Mount Wachusett Community College (March 2017)
- Co-Sponsored District Attorney’s Opioid Prevention Forum (March 2017)
- Saint John’s High School’s Freshman Wellness Day presentation (Shrewsbury, March 2017)
- Conducted Youth Mental Health First Aid training for the Dudley-Charlton Regional School District (April 2017)
- Co-Organized Bancroft School’s Refresh Day (Worcester, April 2017)
- Co-Sponsored Senator Jennifer Flanagan’s May is Mental Health Month forum (April 2017)
- Venerini Academy parents presentation (Worcester, April 2017)
- Presenter and Exhibitor at Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Youth Wellness conference (April 2017)
- Conducted Second Annual Student Mental Wellness Summit with 150 students and staff from 10 Central Massachusetts schools (April & May 2017)
- Co-sponsored Teen Talk, a Worcester community parent forum (May 2017)
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care employees presentation (May 2017)
- Informational sessions with Boy Scout leadership from Council 251 (May 2017)
- Venerini Academy’s Middle School presentation (Worcester, May 2017)
- Brought 100 students from 7 Central Massachusetts schools to Beacon Hill to speak with Legislators and Policy Makers (May 2017)
- Venerini Academy’s Elementary School Wellness Day (Worcester, May 2017)
- Richer Elementary Wellness Day presentation (Marlborough, June 2017)
- Presented an in-service to Reliant Medical of Leominster (June 2017)
- Participated in various Health and Wellness Fairs (March-June 2017)
- Grafton High School’s Student Wellness Advisory Team is launched (August 2017)
- Gateway to College students, Mount Wachusett Community College presentation (September 2017)
- Tantasqua Regional High School’s Student Wellness Advisory Team is launched (Fiskdale, September 2017)
- Conducted Youth Mental Health First Aid training for Monty Tech (September 2017)
- Saint John’s High School’s Student Wellness Advisory Team is launched (Shrewsbury, September 2017)
- Annual “Keep Your Mind Open” gala fundraiser featuring Margaret Trudeau (October 2017)
- Exhibitor at Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Youth Wellness conference (October 2017)
- Partnered with Worcester State University to bring Fresh Check Day to their school (October 2017)
- Conducted Youth Mental Health First Aid training for Central MA Community (October 2017)
- Presented to high school students at the United Way’s Youth Venture Kickoff (October 2017)
- Partnered with Worcester State University and Worcester State’s Active Minds to bring Pablo Campos to Doherty Memorial High School (November 2017)
- SkyView Middle School’s 8th grade students presentations (November 2017)
- SkyView Middle School’s Student Wellness Advisory Team is launched (Leominster, November 2017)
- Lunenburg High School’s Student Wellness Advisory Team is launched (November 2017)
- Partnered with Leominster Public Schools and conducted Youth Mental Health First Aid training for their staff (November 2017)
- Auburn High School’s Student Wellness Advisory Team is launched (November 2017)
- Wachusett Regional High School’s Student Wellness Advisory Team is launched (Holden, November 2017)
- Featured spotlight non-profit for the Worcester Railers hockey game (December 2017)
- Continue to partner with existing school Student Wellness Advisory Teams
- Forming new Student Wellness Advisory Teams with engaged school systems
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
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