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N.H. Awards $4.4 Million Contract for New Behavioral Health Crisis Center

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Allegra Boverman for NHPR
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The Executive Council has approved a $4.4 million contract to fund a new behavioral health crisis treatment center.

The contract, awarded to Riverbend Community Health, will fund a 24/7 crisis center in Concord. It will provide short-term treatment to stabilize patients before connecting them with community mental health resources.

Riverbend CEO Peter Evers says the center will be an alternative to emergency rooms for first responders dropping off someone in a mental health crisis.

“Although people do get treated in the emergency department, it’s not the best place for someone in psychiatric crisis to be,” said Evers. “I think one of the things that happens across the state is that people end up boarded in the emergency department and they actually get worse in some cases because they’re not getting where they need and they’re essentially waiting for care.”

The hope is that the new center will help reduce the number of psychiatric patients currently being boarded in hospital emergency departments.

That practice is the subject of an ongoing legal dispute between the ACLU, hospitals, and the state.

Evers says he hopes to have the new center open by April of this year.

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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