LACONIA — Lakes Region Mental Health Center recently held its virtual annual meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Visit to review the 2021 annual report.

Several new board members were welcomed to LRMHC: Erin Crangle, Holderness; Samantha Kokua, Laconia; Stephanie Ricker, Barrington; Gloria Thorington, Northwood; Shawna Young, Meredith and returning former board member and past president, Deborah Pendergast, New Hampton. The elected slate of officers for 2021-2022 include Laura LeMien, president; Peter Minkow, vice president; Marsha Bourdon, treasurer; and Rev. Judith Wright as secretary. The Board, by resolution, appointed Edward McFarland of Laconia as Director Emeritus in recognition of his long-standing, distinguished and dedicated service to Lakes Region Mental Health Center.

In her welcome address, outgoing board President, Gail Mears states, “As a previous clinician and a professor of those who enter into this field I thought I knew and understood so much about this work, but serving as the president of this board I have not only a greater understanding of the complexities but a growing appreciation of all the people it takes, with their compassion and commitment to successfully serve those with mental illnesses in our communities.”

Newly elected board President, Laura LeMien outlined the plan for the upcoming year saying, “As an organization, we know we must continue to evolve and adapt to meet the requirements and challenges posed by managed care, health reform, workforce shortages and other external forces that affect our funding and our services. We have a flexible team who consistently goes above and beyond to ensure seamless services despite the challenging environment.”

Each year, Lakes Region Mental Health Center recognizes two community members who strengthen the cause of mental health and promote increased awareness and understanding of mental health issues in the Lakes Region. Those announcements will be made at a special event during May 2022 which is nationally recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month.

Lakes Region Mental Health Center also hosted its 10th annual Mental Awareness Online Auction in October. The auction is the organization’s largest fundraiser and funds raised help support the 4,000 patients served in Belknap and Southern Grafton counties in New Hampshire. This year’s auction was a great success.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 603-524-1100 or visit the website at

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