The New Haven Alumni Association exists to provide connection, support, and advocacy on behalf of New Haven Families.
The Association seeks to mentor families in transition; create engaging local and regional alumni events; write and share interesting publications; and support New Haven’s mission.
Alumni parents help design and support two annual, Alumni weekends. The Winter Weekend is usually in February and coincides with a national therapist conference which is attended by many of NH’s therapists. The Summer Weekend is onsite in June in Utah. These alumni weekends provide wonderful opportunities to reconnect with New Haven families and staff. They can also provide that extra support which we all find helpful periodically. Details are available before each weekend.
Council members have reached out to host or help with regional Alumni Dinners. In 2013, new events were held in Baltimore, Houston and California; regular NYC and Chicago area events continued to occur; and guidelines were created which anyone can use to host an event.
As the recent Alumni Weekend, various private Facebook pages, and other activities attest, we are an inter-connected, extended NH family. We have shared unique experiences and we can continue to learn from and support one another, interacting with the honesty, openness, and love always so evident at New Haven.
In 2013, New Haven leadership and alumni parents created one of the first Alumni Associations for a residential treatment center. Bucking the industry approach to cut off all interactions after a family leaves, New Haven asked alumni to create the Association to help the healing process continue, informally, and to maintain the bonds created between many families, and between many families and staff which transcend the patient-client relationship. Some parents are involved to stay connected, while others want to work to remove the stigma against mental health problems in the United States.
We seek to continue the New Haven tradition of staying in touch, but with new ways to support each other and connect. We established a Council (basically an Executive Committee), Mission Statement, Committees, By-laws and a few other things so we can function effectively as a group of volunteers.
The following committees are where most of the work is done, with the first four committees most active at this time.
- Communications. Writes and distributes a newsletter on a regular basis. The Committee is also responsible for initial content and keeping up to date (within reason) an Alumni Association page on New Haven’s web site.
- Events Coordination. Helps create engaging events, such as periodic, regional alumni meetings; the annual off-campus Alumni Weekend (usually in February); and the annual Utah Alumni weekend (in June).
- Programming. Creates and expedites a system by which Alumni feedback is given to and received by New Haven. Also suggests potential new programs or changes consistent with the Mission Statement that might be beneficial. NH is interested in how their services can be more effective. These volunteers may assist with legislative needs.
- Sponsorship. Creates ways to sponsor and mentor New Haven families effectively. Also creates a resource bank for parents and has someone who is the Local Resource Coordinator. Please note that alumni sponsoring families do not necessarily have to be members of the Committee.
- International. Serves Alumni families abroad and reaches out to families and health service providers abroad to educate them about coming to New Haven for treatment. Supports families not living in the United States as a resource for information about visas and other challenges unique to these families. Enhances diversity at New Haven by bringing in families with different backgrounds.
- Membership/Directory. Gathers data, if necessary, to create a roster of all members.