by Ellen Andre
Originally published December 10, 2022 as part of a series by Special Contributor and local Philanthropist Ellen Andre focusing on local non-profits
Hidden Battles is a local non-profit organization founded by Scott Hyder and family, after the loss of his brother Nicky to suicide. Scott has been in the military and law enforcement, and understands the daily struggles and challenges of these jobs. Hidden Battles strives to help preserve and restore the healthy minds of military and veterans, law enforcement, fire, EMS, dispatch and nursing. They do this through activity driven treatment and counseling for: depression, suicidal tendencies, and PTSD. Their community based healing approach links like minded and common background individuals and their families to form bonds and establish a larger support system.
The defenders they support are absorbing the horrors of their occupations. They struggle with the hidden battles fought in their minds on a daily basis. Whether it is from war, personal injury or a fatal car crash, the effects are everlasting. Over the course of their careers, the stress piles up to sometimes a fatal level.
Returning soldiers, fire fighters, police officers and other first responders need an outlet. Whether it is a peer group, a service dog or team building therapy, they need programs and services to protect them from internal harm and to protect and preserve their mental well being. This is the support that Hidden Battles can provide.
Hidden Battles is very proud of the community they have built in the Merrimack Valley and southern NH areas. It is a great resource for veterans and first responders to access information that is essential to benefits and care surrounding “Heroes Culture”.
Unfortunately there are an average of 22 suicides per day in this population. They have created numerous programs to help prevent suicide and promote mental health. The programs work on a 3 tier system: directly for the individual, individual and support/spouse and individual and family members. Hidden Battles has an ongoing Peer Support Group which is an informal, weekly get together to promote and encourage conversation.
In addition to these programs they offer activities such as ruck/run events, corn hole tournaments, an annual golf tournament, family outings to parks and movie nights, kayaking and fly fishing, equine experiences, couples cooking classes and much more. They also partner with other organizations such as Operation Delta Dog and Swim with a Mission.
Hidden Battles hopes to have a physical address/office which would act as a resource center. The location would be open to support groups, mental health training, activities etc.and host other non-profits for informational expos. Having this space would allow program expansion and increase frequency of programs.
The biggest challenge they face is getting the word out that they exist and that it is ok to seek help from those who have walked in their boots.
The community can be a huge help in spreading the word, sharing posts on social media and creating conversation about mental health. Everyone knows a veteran, first responder or nurse that could benefit from their programs. So many of these heroes are unaware that Hidden Battles exists and what they can do to support them to stay healthy mentally.
To learn more individuals can find them on their website at: www.hiddenbattlesfoundation.org and on Facebook. They can also tune in to their new radio program live at WCAP 980AM at 8pm on Wednesdays, or contact Scott Hyder (founder) at (978)551-5116. Suicide Hotline Dial 988, press1.
Donate today! Funding is an absolute necessity and you can donate online at their website or Venmo @HiddenBattles or by mailing a check:
P.O. Box 283
Pelham, NH 03076
Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you.