Fulfilling the Promise: Transforming New Hampshire’s Mental Health System is the report of the Mental Health Commission.
The 2008 DHHS’s NH Ten Year Mental Health Plan recommends:
- Increase the Availability of Community Residential Supports
- Increase Capacity for Community-Based Inpatient Psychiatric Care
- Develop Assertive Community Treatment Teams
- Community Mental Health Workforce Retention and Development
- Department of Corrections Study Committee Planning Considerations
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) plans (as of 2013) immediate steps to help reduce the wait time for patients in local hospital emergency rooms for inpatient psychiatric care:
- NHH tracking all individuals awaiting a bed at NHH on a daily basis. These are reviewed and triaged by the Physician in Charge at NHH.
- Finalize a plan to utilize psychiatry staff at NHH to provide additional consultative services to local ER physicians on the management of behavioral health crises.
- Finalize a plan for Commissioner approval to temporarily reopen 12 beds at NHH that currently are closed.
- Within the next 10 days, finalize implementation of Project RED (Re-engineered Discharges) to provide better community follow-up after discharge in order to reduce readmissions, which will also increase the availability of beds at NHH.
- Expand peer-run crisis respite beds.
DHHS’s budget submission for FY 2014-15 contains requests for additional funding to continue building community capacity, including:
- Establishing additional inpatient capacity available on a statewide basis to allow individuals to receive care on a local basis.
- Expanding peer run services, including peer crisis beds in the community, to serve an additional 400 adults with severe mental illness annually, through a peer run model.
- Continuing to expand the number of Assertive Community Treatment Teams by adding an additional 7 teams, bringing the total to 17 teams for the State of NH.
- Expanding residential options for consumers, including a doubling of the size of the Housing Bridge Subsidy program from 110 to 210 by the end of FY 15, and adding an additional 48 supervised residential beds in the community.
Affordable Care Act
Because Medicaid includes mental-health benefits, those states that opt into the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act will be able to make mental health coverage available to thousands of their citizens who do not now have it.
Report by Foundation for Healthy Families: “HELP: People Seeking Mental Health Care in New Hampshire” February, 2013