Number Of N.H. Residents Waiting For Mental Health Beds Sees Sharp Uptick

Apr 10, 2017

New Hampshire Hospital in Concord

The average number of people waiting to gain access to a mental health bed in New Hampshire is now 46, up from nine in 2013.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says he gets daily reports on the issue which he calls a crisis.

The governor has a meeting scheduled for Monday to develop plans to tackle the problem.

The executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness says the problem is exacerbated by hospitals closing their psychiatric units to focus on more profitable endeavors.

Other issues include the stigma attached to mental illness and the difficulty of finding enough psychiatrists, case managers and psychiatric nurses to staff existing facilities.