Mental health advocates praise the state’s decision to expand services for children by purchasing a 111-bed private mental hospital.
The association, which represents the state’s 10 nonprofit community mental health centers, called the news “a major milestone in our system.”
“This is really an investment in the future and ensures that we strengthen the continuity of care,” said Brian Collins, Chairman of the Community Behavioral Health Association.
The cost of purchasing Hamstead Hospital and other details are undecided, but will be covered by the Federal Pandemic Relief Fund, awaiting approval by the Legislative and Financial Commission and the Executive Council. The facility has a contract with the state to treat children at risk of mental health during a coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Chris Sununu announced Thursday that the state is in the final stages of purchase, saying “Band-Aid and short-term solutions are not going to reduce it.”
In late March 2020, for the first time in eight years, no one in New Hampshire was waiting for an inpatient’s psychiatric bed in the hospital’s emergency room. However, during the pandemic, the numbers returned. By May of this year, more than 80 mental health patients, including a record number of children, were waiting on a particular day.
Ken Norton, executive director of the New Hampshire branch of the National Mental Illness Family Alliance, praised the purchase and “ensures that New Hampshire families with children at mental health risk continue to have the option of hospitalization. Would be. ” “
According to the New Hampshire branch of the National Federation of Mental Illness Families, the number of young people in need of psychiatric care for inpatients has tripled since the outbreak of the pandemic, with 18 young people waiting in the emergency room on Thursday. ..
With a law passed in 2016, the state is comprehensive for the health of children’s behavior, emphasizing family-led community-based services coordinated across multiple systems, including healthcare, child protection, and juvenile justice. It was necessary to start building a good care system.
In 2019, the Democratic Party followed up on legislation to raise funding and provide frameworks, but not all elements have been implemented.
“Despite the fact that the governor has not yet fully launched the care system, we expect this purchase to be a sign that he is beginning to recognize the seriousness of the problem,” D- Hopkinton Senator Becky Whitley said.
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