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N.H.'s New 10-Year Mental Health Plan Open to Public Comment

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The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has unveiled a draft version of a new 10-year plan for improving mental health services.

The 10-year plan is a roadmap for the reforms needed to strengthen the state’s mental health infrastructure.

In recent years, one of the most pressing issues has been a shortage of beds at in-patient mental health facilities.

Ken Norton, with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, says the new plan shows the state is taking that issue seriously.

“We’ve said all along it’s wrong legally, it’s wrong medically, it’s wrong ethically, it’s wrong morally, it’s wrong economically. And we really think that the state, the governor, and the legislature are motivated to address that.”

Norton says it will be up to state lawmakers to follow through with funding for the 10-year plan to make it a reality.

“During this legislative session we’re really going to be pushing to deal with the immediacy of that emergency department boarding crisis as well as to get in place the building blocks for implementing the rest of the plan in the future.”

State health officials will be holding a public hearing on the plan to receive feedback Dec. 3 in Concord. Comments can also be submitted by email through Dec. 10. 

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.

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