Hannah’s House Mission Statement
Hannah’s House is a community supported nonprofit mental health and resource center dedicated to promoting emotional and mental health for children, teens, families and individuals by providing local, accessible counseling services, community outreach through education, financial assistance, and alternative therapies.
Ten years ago, family and friends founded Hannah’s House to honor the memory of Hannah Bedford, a young Valley resident who tragically lost her battle with mental illness in 2009. The idea behind Hannah’s House was out of the box: a nonprofit mental health center which would focus on young people, provide education and prevention, guarantee everyone could access therapy regardless of ability to pay, and explore alternative therapies to medication where possible.
Hannah’s House is the story of a community that came together to help build a wonderful resource for the Mad River Valley. Her family started with an idea; friends, local organizations, businesses and strangers have helped build it. From our guiding therapists, legal counsel and business consultants who donated their services to the many volunteers who have served on the board, baked cookies, filmed workshops, written grants, built the new resource center and so much more, Hannah’s House has been graced with a phenomenal group of caring people.
Thanks to our community which has spread beyond the confines of the Mad River Valley, Hannah’s House now supports four affiliated counselors, a part time executive director, a licensure track counselor, and offices in Waitsfield and Waterbury, Vermont. We partner with local schools, help sponsor numerous educational events, and foster alternative therapies including neurofeedback brain training for anxiety disorders. Our counselors provide group sessions and individual counseling 3 to 4 days a week at Harwood Union.
Many years of Team Hannah runners fundraising in the Mad Marathon, individual, organization and business donors, a warm and talented team of therapists and dedicated leadership have made Hannah’s House a model as a successful community supported, local mental health center. Thank you good friends, board members, therapists, partners, volunteers and all those who give time and funds to allow Hannah’s House to evolve and grow to meet the needs of our community. “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world.” teens and adults.
Hannah’s House is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt, organization funded entirely by donations from our community, friends, family, businesses and grants from foundations including National Life, Vermont Community Foundation, Ben & Jerrys, The Warren Church, Northfield Savings Bank, the Plansoen Trust, Vermont Agency, The Agnes Lyndsay Trust, Robert Diyeso Trust, Mad River Valley Rotary, Llloyd Symington Foundation, TD Bank North, Entrust, and the Lindsay Family Foundation.
“The support that was offered to our family through the Hannah’s House Foundation made a significant difference in helping us through a crisis. The expertise of the individuals that offered us guidance and support was extraordinary. The emphasis on the family system in dealing with a family member in crisis was unique in that several of us benefited from the support. Hannah’s House offered us a collaborative approach to healing and restored balance in our family.”
– A Mad River Valley Resident
“Several years ago a family member began a descent into a mental illness that became a force of it’s own. Finding help was exceeding difficult; I heard everything from ‘we’re not taking any new patients’ to ‘ too young/ old for our program’ and then the battle to get health insurance coverage for treatment. The impact and stress on other family members was extremely trying. Hannah’s House has been a tremendous help to our family. The resources made available have had many positive outcomes. For the first time in almost ten years we are seeing a healthy person emerge from a situation that often felt hopeless.
A major turning point came when I came to the realization that the only person I could effectively change was myself. I was and remain powerless to make anyone get ‘better.’ I don’t have all the answers. I learned (and continue to learn) to set clear boundaries. For example, I stopped answering the distressed ‘rescue me’ phone calls in the middle of the night. I also have worked hard at not putting myself in the middle of conflicts between other family
Members and trying to speak only for myself. After attending seminars sponsored by Hannah’s House and then meeting with Erik Thompson individually, I learned that by simply shifting the dialogue from directives such as ‘you should’ and ‘you need to’ to ‘I will’ or ‘I won’t’ statements made a huge difference in my families’ relationships. I have learned and continue to learn to be a better listener and to validate feelings…progress – not perfection. Letting go is hard, but hanging on is much harder.”
– A Grateful Client of Hannah’s House