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Report Says N.H. Still Lags on Mental Health Services

Thomas Fearon
The high readmission rate at New Hampshire Hospital was one of the troublesome trends identified in a recent independent report on the state's mental health system.

A new report finds New Hampshire is struggling to improve its mental health system, as it agreed to in a $30 million dollar lawsuit settlement. 


A court-appointed monitor finds, one year into the settlement, the state is lagging on nearly every benchmark. 

The goal is to create more community-based services for people with mental illness, in order to keep them out of inpatient psychiatric beds. But on the ground, the report concludes, patients aren’t really seeing many changes yet.

The current state budget impasse isn’t making things any easier. Both Democrats and Republicans pushed for extra mental health funding for the next two years in light of the settlement. But a stalemate over the budget means all state funding is currently frozen at last year’s levels. A new budget agreement may not come until the fall. 

Click here for a fuller version of the new report.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.

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