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Report Highlights NHs Progress In Community Mental Health Agreement
Published Friday, July 21, 2017

The Glencliff Home for the Elderly in Glencliff, an unincorporated community within the White Mountain National Forest in Warren. Photo: 1HappyHiker

In his sixth report on the state’s compliance with the Community Mental Health Agreement (CMHA), expert reviewer Stephen Day highlights the significant progress NH has made in achieving the objectives of the CMHA. Day is a consultant who previously worked for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

Among the areas of progress are increased supported employment penetration rates; transitions of individuals from the Glencliff Home for the Elderly 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.

“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," says Jeffrey A. Meyers, commissioner of the NH Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS). "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 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 mental health investments in the State’s 2018-19 biennial budget that are designed to meet the same goals of the CMHA. These investments were co-developed and supported by Gov. Chris Sununu, legislative leadership, stakeholders and NH 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 NH Hospital in Concord. It also calls for the Department to develop a new Ten Year Plan for Mental Health.

“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,” says Gov. Sununu. “While work remains, we look forward to continuing the positive progress we have made.”

NH DHHS issued a response to the Expert Reviewer Report that addresses his observations pertaining to compliance with the capacity for Assertive Community Treatment services and some of the transitions from the Glencliff Home.

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