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N.H. House Votes Yes On Bill That Aims To Move Psychiatric Hospital Planning Forward

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted to approve an advisory council to assist in the development of plans for a new psychiatric hospital.

The state's new 10-year plan for mental health plan calls for a new psychiatric hospital and Governor Chris Sununu's proposed budget calls for spending $40 million on it.

The committee that recommended the bill's approval noted that for years, the state has been transferring civilly committed patients whose mental illness is so severe that they are a threat to themselves and others from the state hospital to the state prison's secure psychiatric unit, where they are co-mingled with prisoners.

Bill sponsor Renny Cushing, a Democrat from Hampton, said the bill's passage Wednesday represents that New Hampshire "acknowledges mental illness for what it is, an illness and not a crime."

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