Former New Hampshire Chief Justice John T. Broderick was honored this week at Franklin Pierce University for his work raising mental health awareness across the state.

“I want to thank him for his dedication to justice, to public service, and for being a champion for honest, non-judgmental conversations and action around mental health,” FPU President Kim Mooney said as Broderick was presented the Honorable Walter R. Peterson Citizen Leader Award. “Chief Justice Broderick’s story is riveting and very important.”

After publicly sharing his family’s struggles with mental illness, Broderick created and established R.E.A.C.T. Awareness Campaign to educate people on the signs of mental illness and how to help (themselves or someone else), in an effort to end the social stigma of mental illness.

This program is now sponsored by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, where Broderick serves as senior director of External Affairs.

Broderick accepted the medal before an audience of more than 400 student-athletes in the fieldhouse on the university’s Rindge campus. Director of Athletics Rachel Burleson had invited him to speak about the importance of mental health awareness and destigmatizing mental illness.

A vocal mental health advocate, Broderick helped New Hampshire become the first state to join the Change Direction Campaign, a national initiative to change the culture of mental health in America.

“I’ve been on a mission for the last five years to go wherever I am asked to have non-judgmental conversations about mental health,” said Broderick. I’ve had amazing privileges in my lifetime, but the reason I am here is the most important work I’ve done in my professional life.”

Broderick served on the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1995 to 2010, first as an associate justice and as chief justice from 2004 to 2010. He also served as dean of the University of New Hampshire School of Law and was founder and executive director of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Service.

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