Page 16 - DEC2022
P. 16

Page 16
By BRittany amalfi
A couple of years ago, Aimee LaMotte was having a conver- sation with George Clayman and Rachel Lacasse, the owners of Kilter Fitness, about suicide rates among veterans, which are exceptionally high, so Lamotte and Clayman asked themselves, “what can we do to help?” And with that initial thought, the Re- sponder Strong NH program was created.
Once Lamotte, Clayman, and Lacasse cemented that first question, they learned about re- gional peer support teams for first responders, and the Lakes Region Peer Support team was born. However, the peer sup- port team that runs out of Kilter Fitness is not Responder Strong NH directly, but it certainly does tie into the whole mission. Responder Strong NH is a new 5031c3 that runs out of Kilter Fitness, and it strives to reduce the effects of stress response among first responders and vet- erans. Their mission is to provide peer support and wellness to first responders and veterans to pre- vent Post Traumatic Stress Injury and suicide.
Responder Strong NH raises money for peer support/ well- ness programs, and they have had two classes of 25 seats so far. LaMotte, the Executive Direc- tor, tells me that they are starting fundraising for ICISF Suicide
December 2022
 Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention for responders for peer support to other responders. There are regional peer support teams throughout the state, and responders who are looking for peer support would be connected with other police, fire EMS, cor- rections, dispatchers, or veterans.
Their goal is to hold this training on March 30th and 31st, so they started the envelope drive in mid-November, and it will hopefully run throughout mid-December. The envelopes will have dollar amounts on each one and will be displayed on bulletin boards throughout local establishments for people who are willing to donate. “We want this training to be 100% free for responders, so we have a goal of raising $6000 from the enve- lope drive, and if there is more money raised, the rest will go to peer support,” LaMotte said. Unfortunately, rural departments do not typically have additional funding.
As I had the opportunity to speak with LaMotte, she shed some more light on how Re- sponder Strong NH worked. “Our team is fully staffed by vol- unteers, and we work with our programs out of Kilter Fitness. We also work with three other participating facilities in the Lakes Region. BBetter Inc. with Jason Aprea, Taylor Mears, and John Sullivan from Lakes Region Valley Tudo, as well as CKO
Boxing in Lakes Region with Nick Brough.
LaMotte stressed that Re- sponder Strong NH is an “ICISF peer support program and wellness through fitness for re- sponders and veterans.” Their fundraising efforts have been above the fold by doing events like their 22+5+1 pushup chal- lenge for veterans, responders, and active duty suicide aware- ness every day in November, and videos are posted of Responder Strong NH group on Facebook!!
Any responder or veteran who is seeking peer support can contact the Lakes Region CISM Team or Responder Strong NH by email. responderstrongnh@ There is also a link on the Kilter Fit- ness website
at https://
kilterfitnessnh. mid-Novem-
Responder Strong NH
  com/respond- er-strong-nh. html. Or they can call Aimee LaMotte at 603-254-9610.
The Post Traumatic Stress In- jury and suicide rates among first responders and veterans are seri- ous issues, and as a community, we can help them by doing what we can to support mental health and wellness. And that is exactly what Responder Strong NH is doing. It’s time for us to give
ber and will run throughout mid-December, and as mentioned above, they will be displayed at local establishments. In addition, be on the lookout for other fund- raising opportunities put on by
Responder Strong NH. Still, if you’re also looking to donate, you can directly donate to Responder Strong NH with a check to P.O. Box 293 in Bristol or Cashapp $ResponderStrongNH.
back to these heroes who have given so
much to us.
The envelope
drive began in
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