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N.H. Child Advocate highlights pandemic's impact in annual report

N.H. State House, Legislative Office Building DT
Dan Tuohy
/
NHPR
State House, Concord, N.H.

The New Hampshire Office of the Child Advocate is an independent state agency.

A new report from the Office of the Child Advocate says the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated a long-brewing mental health crisis for New Hampshire children, particularly those whose illness manifests as aggression.

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The report released Thursday highlights the state's recent roll-out of community-based services to prevent psychiatric hospitalizations.

But implementation was long delayed, and in the meantime, the pandemic further stressed children with what the report calls "isolation, uncertainty and fear."

The report notes that the state's contract with Hampstead Hospital excludes children with aggressive or assaultive behavior.

But the state says children are evaluated based on their unique needs.