With No New Budget, State's Plan for Military Culture Liaisons On Hold
New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services plans to add 11 positions to help community mental health centers understand military culture. But these eleven workers can’t start until a new state budget is in place—something that has been delayed by partisan fighting.
These workers will be called “community mental health center military culture liaisons.” Ten of them will work part-time at mental health centers throughout the state. The eleventh will work statewide.
The workers will teach care providers how veterans need and respond to care. Doing so will allow care-givers to respond sensitively and swiftly to a veteran who may suffer from post-traumatic stress or a traumatic brain injury.
The governor and Executive Council approved the positions, but the funding would be part of the next budget, which hasn’t been finalized. Governor Maggie Hassan and Republicans in the Legislature have failed to reach agreement on the new spending plan.
Jo Moncher is the Bureau Chief of Community Based Military Programs at DHHS. She says she had wanted these liaisons to start July first.
"But I sure am confident that we will get there," Moncher says. "New Hampshire is a state that has a lot of dedication, commitment and partnerships to serving our military. So we will get there."
DHHS also officially rolled out its “Ask The Question” campaign, which encourages all service providers—including doctors, educators and police officers—to ask everyone they encounter if they’ve ever served in the military.