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Eligibility for Behavioral Health Services

Children Under the Age of 18:

  • An eligibility determination must be conducted by the appropriate community mental health program staff.
  • The child must be diagnosed with a serious emotional disturbance in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). This includes the list of disorders under adult eligibility below and additional diagnoses.
  • The child must have a serious problem with school or work, behavior toward others or themselves at home or in the community, mood and emotions, substance use; or thinking.
  • A child may also be eligible because of the caregiver's inability to provide physical and emotional support to the extent necessary to promote the child's emotional health.

Adults 18 Through 59 Years of Age:

  • An eligibility determination must be done by the staff at a community mental health center.
  • An adult must be diagnosed with one or more of the following mental illnesses in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR):
    • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
    • Mood disorders
    • Borderline personality disorder
    • Post traumatic stress disorder
    • Obsessive compulsive disorder
    • Eating disorders
    • Dementia, where the person is impaired because of the psychiatric symptoms and is also anxious, depressed, delusional, hallucinating, or paranoid
    • Panic disorder
  • An adult must have difficulties as a result of his or her mental illness in the following areas:
    • Activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, feeding, etc.);
    • Interpersonal functioning (friendships, family relationships, etc.);
    • Adaptation to change (being able to modify one's routine when necessary); and
    • Concentration and task performance or pace (completing common tasks, such as dialing a telephone number, in a reasonable amount of time).

The difficulties can be either moderate problems in all four areas, or marked problems in two or more of the areas, or extreme problems in one area.

Older Adults Over the Age of 60:

  • An eligibility determination must be done by the staff at a community mental health center.
  • An older adult must be diagnosed with one or more of the following mental illnesses in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR):
    • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
    • Mood disorders
    • Borderline personality disorder
    • Post traumatic stress disorder
    • Obsessive compulsive disorder
    • Eating disorders
    • Dementia, where the person is impaired because of the psychiatric symptoms and is also anxious, depressed, delusional, hallucinating, or paranoid
    • Panic disorder
  • An adult must have difficulties as a result of his or her mental illness in the following areas:
    • Activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, feeding, etc.);
    • Interpersonal functioning (friendships, family relationships, etc.);
    • Adaptation to change (being able to modify one's routine when necessary); and
    • Concentration and task performance or pace (completing common tasks, such as dialing a telephone number, in a reasonable amount of time).

Emergency & Crisis Services

Available to any person in NH who is experiencing psychiatric distress. BBH requires that each of the 10 Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) provides emergency care 24-hours per day, seven days per week. You can receive these services by calling your local CMHC or by going to the Emergency Room of your local hospital and asking to speak to the mental health counselor.

Peer Support Agencies

Peer Support Agencies provide services to people with mental illness who are 18 years of age or older and identify themselves as a recipient, former recipient, or is at significant risk of becoming a recipient of publicly funded mental health services. Contact the Peer Support Agency in your region for further details.

Community Mental Health Center Services

Non-crisis care, which includes case management, therapy, and medication monitoring, is offered at all 10 Community Mental Health Centers(CMHCs). The eligibility criteria for state funded community mental health services for children, adults, and older adults is outlined fully in the NH Administrative Rules adopted by the Bureau of Behavioral Health. They are summarized here. Contact the CMHC in your region and ask to be assessed for eligibility to state funded services.

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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