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Mental Health Advocates Push For $37M In Funding

Advocates for the state’s mental health centers say the state hasn’t lived up to its own plan to improve services in the state. And this week, they’re calling for more than $37 million in increased funding to support a stretched system.

The state’s 10-year plan, called ‘A Strategy For Restoration,’ came out in 2008. It called for major investments in the state’s mental health system, and was hailed as a great step forward. But 5 years into the initiative, advocates say the state has actually slid backwards.

"I just hope that we are at the moment when we can once again align the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens with the ability and authority of our legislature to help us fund these services so that their needs can be met," says Jay Couture, President of the New Hampshire Behavioral Health Association.

Couture says the money would be used on additional crisis beds at the state’s psychiatric hospital, as well as on community based services.

Last year, the Disabilities Rights Center filed a lawsuit against the state claiming it isn’t meeting its obligations to treat the mentally ill.