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Press Release

Community Mental Health Centers Step Up for Veterans
Making an Impact in Outreach & Services
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Bureau of Community Based Military Programs
Publish Date:
November 9, 2015

Concord, NH - In honor of Veterans Day, as New Hampshire celebrates the men and women who have served our country, the State’s Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), in partnership with the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), are sharing their commitment to New Hampshire’s veterans, service members and their families with new initiatives and partnerships to better serve this population.

Earlier this fall, each of the 10 CMHCs embedded at least one military liaison within their agency under a first-of-its-kind initiative launched by DHHS and in partnership with NHCarePath. The goal of the CMHC Military Liaison Initiative (MLI) is to improve access to and quality of care for veterans, service members, and their families by identifying military members being served, promoting military culture and competence, and partnering with civilian-military providers.

“The leadership and spirit of collaboration from Community Mental Health Centers has been incredible,” said Jo Moncher, Bureau Chief of Military Programs for DHHS. “They are developing partnerships with the Veterans Administration, building military culture competence within their agencies, and coming to this initiative with a sincere interest and passion for serving this population.”

Only 28,000 New Hampshire veterans, out of 115,000 across the State, receive care at VA Medical Centers, for many different reasons. The CMHC MLI is one of several new DHHS initiatives in place to help improve access to care for New Hampshire’s military by opening up more access points—while coordinating services and client referrals with the VA and other military-civilian provider agencies.

Each CMHC has at least one military liaison working 10 hours per month. A statewide liaison, working out of the Riverbend Community Mental Health Center in Concord, provides coordination to the effort and support to all liaisons. Each CMHC is participating in military culture training in recognition of the need to increase military culture awareness and competence throughout the organization.

CMHCs are also developing their own programs to strengthen this effort. The Center for Life Management in Derry secured funds for a flag and flagpole and will be hosting a dedication ceremony on Monday, November 23rd. Riverbend has developed a newsletter, Riverbend Reveille, using the theme of waking up military at sunrise and inviting agency staff to “rise to the cause.” Monadnock Family Services in Keene is coordinating a staff and community event to bring community partners together.

Northern Human Services covers 40% of New Hampshire and is working with DHHS to develop ideas and funding sources to strengthen outreach efforts to better reach rural veterans, service members and their families. The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester is the first CMHC in the State that will be accepting both Tricare and the Veterans Choice Card, which will improve access to care for veterans, service members and their families. The Greater Nashua Mental Health Center and Genesis Behavioral Health in Laconia provide leadership and coordination to serve justice involved veterans through Veterans Tracks and Veteran Dockets across the State.

The Seacoast Mental Health Center has already sent 28 of their staff to participate in military culture training in Portsmouth. Community Partners in Dover has scheduled military culture training at Frisbie Memorial Hospital on Friday, November 13. Military Culture Training is provided through a DHHS contract with Dare Mighty Things, a Portsmouth-based organization with a strong background in providing military culture trainings to veterans, service members and their families across the Country. The majority of agencies have already attended or scheduled military culture trainings in their area.

"This initiative is a significant step forward to improving access to and quality of care for our military,” said Suellen Griffin, President and CEO of West Central Behavioral Health and Chair of the NH Community Behavioral Health Association. “There are many things that civilian agencies can do to serve our military, and our association is honored and pleased to be a part of this campaign.”

For more information on the military culture trainings schedule, visit http://www.daremightythings.com/Scheduled%20Trainings.pdf.

 
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