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Expert Reviewer Highlights New Hampshire’s Significant Progress in Community Mental Health Agreement Report
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Bureau of Behavioral Health
Publish Date:
July 14, 2017

Concord, NH – In his sixth report on the state’s compliance with the Community Mental Health Agreement (CMHA), Expert Reviewer Stephen Day highlights the significant progress the State has made in achieving the objectives of the CMHA. Among the areas of progress are increased supported employment penetration rates, transitions of individuals from the Glencliff Home to integrated community-based settings, increased data reporting on various components of the agreement, and new rules and processes to enhance the availability and quality of community-based mental health services.

“As the expert reviewer has acknowledged, the Department has made significant advancements toward compliance with the Community Mental Health Agreement,” said Jeffrey A. Meyers, Commissioner, NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “The Department’s goal is to ensure that New Hampshire residents experiencing severe mental illness are able to access mental health services across the continuum of needs. As evidenced by our commitment to the implementation of our federal Behavioral Health Transformation Waiver and all of the mental health measures passed this legislative session with the strong support of the Governor and legislative leaders, we are building an integrated system of care for all of those persons in need of mental health services, including the measures addressed by the CMHA.”

The expert reviewer cites “the very positive results” in the number of people being treated in the community rather than in hospital emergency departments that have been made possible by mobile crisis teams in Concord and Manchester. Mobile crisis services have helped more people access crisis services, delivered more crisis services, and led to “substantial growth” in people accessing crisis apartments.

The report also acknowledges the very significant mental health investments in the State’s 2018-19 biennial budget that are designed to meet the very same goals of the CMHA. These investments were collaboratively developed and supported by Governor Christopher T. Sununu, Legislative leadership, stakeholders and DHHS. Investments including additional mobile crisis services and housing services and supports will help reduce the number of individuals in emergency rooms across the state waiting for beds at New Hampshire Hospital. It also calls for the Department to develop a new Ten Year Plan for Mental Health.

“Reforming New Hampshire’s mental health system has been a key focus of my administration. The expert reviewer’s latest report is very encouraging and I appreciate that it accounts for the positive achievements in mental health that were made this legislative session,” said Governor Sununu. “The report represents a great deal of progress since the last report that was released right before I took office. I also commend the leadership of Senators Morse and Bradley in making these positive steps. While work remains, we look forward to continuing the positive progress we have made.”

The Department has issued a response to the Expert Reviewer Report that addresses his observations pertaining to compliance with the capacity for Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services and some of the transitions from the Glencliff Home.

The CMHA Expert Reviewer Report Number Six and the Department’s response are available on the DHHS website at: www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bbh/settlement.htm.

 
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