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State Could Be Back in Court Due to Slow Progress on Mental Health


The state of New Hampshire could find itself back in court this year if it doesn’t comply with a class-action settlement aimed at rebuilding the state’s damaged mental health system. 

The latest six-month report from an expert reviewer found the state is making big progress in improving how it serves those with mental illness. It’s providing housing and employment services – in compliance with a 2013 class-action settlement. But the state still hasn’t built enough community-based support to keep people out of institutions such as hospitals and a state-run nursing home.

Jeff Meyers, the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, acknowledges the state is behind schedule in complying with the terms of the class-action settlement. But he also says the report failed to mention additional progress the state made in recent months.

The report concludes the state has to make significantly more progress in the next three to six months – or possibly face a judge again. 

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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