mental health

NHPR File Photo

Over the next several weeks, the N.H. Dept. of Health and Human Services is looking for input from the public on a draft of a new ten-year plan for the state's mental-health system that has been in the works for several months.   Among the areas in need of substantial improvement, according to many: children's mental health care.  The draft is due by mid-October, with the final version due in November.       

GUESTS: 

NHPR File Photo

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it will hold six public input and information sessions across New Hampshire on the subject of mental health.

 

The state wants to hear concerns of residents as it continues to work on its 10-year mental health plan.

 

Julianne Carbin, director of the DHHS Bureau of Mental Health Services, says development of the 10-year plan has been underway since early 2018.

 

FDII / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal grant of $119,000 will allow New Hampshire's National Alliance on Mental Illness to train first responders in how to handle incidents where someone is having a mental health crisis.  

This type of training is known as crisis intervention. It'll be the first time there's a statewide effort to train state police on this, as well as fire and EMS responders.

New Hampshire has one of the country’s highest rates of foster care kids receiving drugs for emotional and psychiatric issues, and many of them don’t have a treatment plan.

That’s according to a report released this week from the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NHPR File Photo

Representatives from law enforcement, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and state agencies met recently to discuss ways to expand mental health training for police officers.

"Police officers throughout the State of New Hampshire -- and I see a lot of them -- their consistent message is 'We need more mental health training,'" said Lieutenant Frank Harris, who helped organize the meeting.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

 

New Hampshire has received a $10 million grant to help design a program to improve the health and wellness of people with mental illnesses.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services received funding over five years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal is to integrate physical and mental health care for young people ages 16 to 35 with severe mental illness or severe emotional disturbance.

The Loneliness Epidemic

Jun 26, 2018
Diego Torres Silvestre; Flickr

Loneliness can have a powerful impact on our mental, physical, and social wellbeing. We look at what might be causing loneliness in children, teenagers, and adults, and what it means for our health and happiness.

File photo

Over a year ago, St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire published an investigation that revealed decades of sexual abuse allegations. The school is currently being sued by two alumni over faculty sex abuse allegations.

And yet they haven’t established a therapy fund for alumni who were abused, something academics, attorneys and victims believe is essential for healing.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Supporters of a man being held in the secure psychiatric unit at New Hampshire State Prison, despite never being convicted of a crime, marched in Concord today. As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports, the protest comes as a federal judge considers Andrew Butler’s request to be transferred to an accredited mental health facility.

NHPR

Our series on mental health in New Hampshire concludes with a look at the role of the state psychiatric hospital in responding to crises, and at what happens once a patient leaves, including what's available in terms of treatment, jobs, housing, and community support. 

In Depth: Examining N.H.'s Mental Health System

May 18, 2018
PublicDomainPictures.net

The Exchange: In-Depth

On the first of our four-day series, we get an overview of mental health care in New Hampshire, including efforts to bolster the community support system, as required under a 2013 legal settlement.  We'll also find out how a new 10-year plan for mental health is shaping up, and how it differs from the last 10-year plan.  Among the issues yet to be solved: long emergency-room waits for people in crisis, an average of 37 people daily, according to the N.H. chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

The state's new Child Advocate, Moira O'Neill, is launching an investigation into the Sununu Youth Center following allegations of a pattern of illegal use of restraints on juveniles there.

N.H. Department of Health and Human Services

The scene last June at the offices of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness was cautiously optimistic as Gov. Chris Sununu and other leaders gathered to sign into law House Bill 400 — hailed as a major step forward for the state’s mental health system.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: January 12, 2018

Jan 11, 2018
Allegra Boverman

It’s a special edition of the Weekly New Hampshire News Roundup - recorded in front of a live audience at The Barley House in Concord.  The legislature tackles a lengthy, snow-delayed slate of bills including marijuana legalization, family medical leave and a possible state department of veterans affairs. Plus a new transitional housing unit signals a new approach to mental health care in N.H.  

This show was taped Thursday, January 11, 2018.


Laura Greenberg knows firsthand how important housing supports can be for someone experiencing a mental health crisis. The Nashua resident said being involved in the Bridge Program at Harbor Homes helped her to avert homelessness during her own crisis several years ago. Today, she's “back on track” and working as a licensed nurse assistant.

"13 Reasons Why" & How to Talk About Teen Suicide

Dec 26, 2017
Jason Rogers / flickr/cc

Our listeners voted for their favorite 2017 episodes of The Exchange. Today, it's our conversation about the controversial Netflix series "Thirteen Reasons Why," which brought  the issues of sexual assault, cyberbullying, and suicide to millions of young viewers.  But it upset many in the mental health field, concened that the show glorifies suicide.  That sparked a renewed conversation about these topics and the best way to present them, especially in an age when shows and images can go viral before parents can tune in.

This program was originally broadcast on May 17, 2017


A new, national study has alarming predictions for New Hampshire. The report draws a strong connection between substance abuse and suicide, and says the Granite State will have among the country's highest suicide risks in the upcoming decade.  We get more details, also local reaction to this report, and ideas for mitigating this possibility.


Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults in New Hampshire, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Exeter Hospital recently endorsed an initiative for suicide prevention as a part of a five-year strategy to address the on-going issue in the state.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Debra Vasapolli, director of community relations for the hospital, about the Zero Suicide initiative.

  (Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

Fifteen years ago, former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick was attacked by his son, who had an undiagnosed mental illness. Now, Broderick  is on a mission to increase awareness of the signs of mental illness that he missed in his son.

Last year he began speaking to high school and college students as part of the Change Direction New Hampshire campaign and he continues that effort tomorrow in Canaan, N.H., in a joint appearance with state Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut.

Sara Plourde

We talk to NHPR reporter Paige Sutherland about two topics in her series, "Alternatives - N.H. Gets Creative to Curb Ongoing Opioid Crisis": an acupuncture detoxification treatment and involuntary commitment. 


NAMI New Hampshire, via Facebook

Just three days ago, New Hampshire set a grim record: 74 adults and kids stuck waiting in ERs across the state because there wasn’t a place for them to get mental health treatment. That’s the highest number since advocates started tracking.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Earlier this year, the legislature passed a package of reforms meant to expand access to mental health treatment. New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services is having mixed success soliciting vendors to oversee those changes — they’ve received multiple proposals for some projects but none for others.

NHPR’s Rewind: How Mental Health is Treated

Jul 24, 2017

Medical scholars have long researched and debated the best methods to treat people with mental health problems. A recent Exchange episode explored how the philosophy of wilderness therapy – the idea that camping in a natural setting can be a treatment for patients struggling with mental health problems. But when gauging the benefits of wilderness therapy, it may be useful to examine the success of more common methods used to treat mental health: medication and talk therapy.

Garrett Vonk

Three years after the state reached a major legal settlement meant to reform its mental health system, both the outside reviewer hired to monitor the state’s progress and the advocacy organization that sued on patients’ behalf say there’s still significant work to be done.

NHPR Staff

The reviewer overseeing reforms outlined in a lawsuit settlement over mental health care says New Hampshire has made significant advances toward compliance.

Court-appointed monitor Stephen Day cites "the very positive results" in the number of people being treated in the community rather than in hospital emergency departments that have been made possible by mobile crisis teams in Concord and Manchester. Mobile crisis services have helped more people access crisis services, delivered more crisis services, and led to "substantial growth" in people accessing crisis apartments.

David Kessler via Flickr

During the last 15 years, the number of opioids sold in this country has quadrupled, contributing to an epidemic of addiction and overdose that has ravaged communities in New Hampshire and across the country. 

Allegra Boverman

A major political controversy broke last week when state officials accused Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital of failing to live up to the terms of a contract to run the state psychiatric hospital.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  The New Hampshire Senate has given preliminary approval to a plan to significantly increase the number of psychiatric treatment beds in the state.

The plan the Senate sent to its Finance Committee on Thursday would require the state to contract with private hospitals and nonprofit facilities to set up 68 new beds. Twenty would be for those subject to involuntary admission, 40 would be community-based beds to help people transition from hospitalization and eight would be peer respite beds.

Thomas Fearon

Every day, an email goes out to leaders in New Hampshire’s mental health system. It gives an updated count on the number of people in immediate need of inpatient psychiatric care, but are being denied that care because of a shortage of beds in New Hampshire hospitals.

On February 20th of this year, that email contained a staggering number: 68 adults and children were being housed in hospital emergency rooms and hallways because of a lack of available beds. It was a new high.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers are trying to push through a last-minute effort this session to address the state’s ongoing shortage of treatment for those battling severe mental illness.

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