6 years later, parents continue mental health outreach effort
A memorial bench was dedicated to Shane and Kaleigh Lambert during a ceremony at Epping's Harvey-Mitchell Memorial Library in 2010. (UNION LEADER FILE)
"It's not easy to do, but for me personally it's worthwhile to do. People appreciate it," the Brentwood father said.
The children were on their way to a sleepover at their aunt's house, but during the drive Thibault pulled over to the side of Interstate 495 in Lowell, Mass., and intentionally walked the children into oncoming traffic.
With the memories of Kaleigh and Shane still close to their hearts, the Lamberts have become parents once again and are enjoying the time with their twin 2 ½-year-old boys, Kolten and Sheadon.
The couple formed a mental health awareness organization called Keep Sound Minds.
Ken Lambert spoke to the Souhegan Valley Rotary Club in Nashua earlier this month, and since then has been invited to speak to other rotaries, including another one in Nashua and one in Milford.
Lambert said it's important to reach out to local civic organizations like Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, and others whose members represent a good cross-section of the population.
KSM was formed to promote better education and understanding of mental illness, but also to keep the memory of their children and aunt alive.
During his talks, Lambert shares his personal tragedy and the mission of KSM.
"Our club was extremely touched by Ken's story about the loss of his children due to the actions of a family member with a mental illness. It takes a strong person to be able to give this presentation to a group of people on a topic that obviously hit very close to home with Ken and his wife," said Jed Anderson, president-elect of the Souhegan Valley Rotary Club in Nashua.
All too often, Lambert said, the family members of the mentally ill are the ones who must offer support.
Most receive no help, he said.
"There are millions and millions of adults that have a problem and most receive no treatment," he said.
In April, KSM will also award two scholarships to students in psychology programs at Rivier University in Nashua and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
KSM has also hired Lisa Garcia, a licensed social worker, as its new assistant director.
Other work includes serving on the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Massachusetts and in New Hampshire is active on the subcommittee on public policy for the New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Council. One of the goals this year is to improve suicide prevention education within middle and high schools.
|NH Angle >> Human Interest|
Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notes: President's offspring always off limits? My grandfather would beg to differ