About PaddlePower

Held annually since 2002, PaddlePower brings people together for a weekend of family-friendly paddling on the Connecticut River to raise both awareness and funds for suicide prevention and mental health treatment. And now families can also take part by joining in a pedestrian-friendly 5K walk in Wilder, Vermont. Since its inception, PaddlePower has raised more than $1,000,000 to support West Central Behavioral Health’s Emergency Services Program – providing response 24/7 for individuals in crisis.


West Central Behavioral Health is the nonprofit community mental health care provider for Sullivan County and the Upper Valley of NH & VT, ensuring access to advanced counseling, treatment, and support for people of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay. With clinical services at four locations throughout the region, WCBH helps children, families and adults find treatment and hope.


Across the country, suicide rates are at their highest level in nearly 30 years. In Grafton and Sullivan counties, the rates are even higher. Among Sullivan County surge suicide rates Youth, the suicide rate is nearly double that of youth nationwide.

In addition, opioid abuse is taking an enormous toll on individuals and families. According to the Partnership for a Drug Free NH, one in six NH teens has abused prescription drugs, and NH is ranked second in the nation for binge drinking among 12-20 year olds. In Sullivan County, reports show that the number of high school aged youth who report ever using heroin is 25% higher than the state average. WCBH provides access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment for all, giving individuals and families the support and care they need.