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Federal Judge Gives Final Approval To Mental Health Settlement

Calling the deal a “responsible resolution,” Judge Steven McAuliffe approved a major settlement agreement on Wednesday that will bring more resources to people in crisis.

Plaintiffs had brought a class action suit against the state, alleging that a lack of services resulted in unnecessary institutionalization of people with mental illness. The U.S. Department of Justice joined the case, saying the state was violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.

“It has been a long process, but I think the process was a good one," says Amy Messer with the Disabilities Rights Center. "The parties came together and were able to come to a resolution that I think is good for the state of New Hampshire.”

The state will spend $30 million over the next four years expanding community-based services and programs that provide supportive housing and employment. 

Lawmakers still need to appropriate the funds. A House Committee begins that task Thursday morning.

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