Policy Priorities

The Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative supports state-level policy changes to transform New Hampshire's current mental health and substance use disorder system into a system of care that is youth and family-driven, community-based, and culturally- and linguistically-competent. These policy priorities for the 2019 legislative session are crucial for Granite State youth and families.

We will continue to update this page throughout the legislative session. Sign up here to get updates about these bills and ways you can get involved to advocate for children, youth, and families.

New Hampshire is struggling with ongoing substance misuse, mental health, and child protection crises, all of which are drastically impacting our children. The lasting impacts of trauma cannot be overstated. As we continue to allow these crises to devastate our kids, we are putting them at further risk for developing behavioral health challenges.

We can all make a difference by coordinating care and increasing supports, building on the strengths of children, youth, and their families. Together, we must continue to transform the behavioral health system. Policies that support all kids are critical to keep the Granite State healthy and prosperous.

In 2019, the CBHC will focus efforts on supporting the following policies.

Mobile Crisis Response and Stabilization Services
Currently, children in a behavioral health crisis have limited options for support: law enforcement or emergency departments. Neither are equipped to provide appropriate care. Mobile Crisis Response and Stabilization Services provide timely care to effectively respond to children's unique psychiatric needs in their own communities.

Improvements to the System of Care
Our youth need a connected and coordinated system of supports and services working together to get the right resources to them when and where they need them. NH currently has a System of Care law on the books that needs continued support and resources to best help our kids.

School Prevention Framework
NH currently has an evidence-based prevention framework to support behavioral health needs in schools known as multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS-B). Ensuring access to MTSS-B across the state will give all children what they need, while also supporting teachers and schools.

10-Year Mental Health Plan
NH has put together a plan to improve NH's mental health system. For the first time, children are included in the plan. Ensuring that children have access to comprehensive home and community-based supports and services is a high priority to keep our kids safe and well-supported.

Download a copy of our 2019 policy priorities.

Bills We're Following

In 2019, the passage of SB 14 is a high priority to support children with behavioral health needs. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by the Senate majority leader, takes a systemic approach to improving child welfare and ensuring children and youth get the appropriate support services where and when they need them, using the System of Care values and principles. Specifically, the bill:

1) helps children and families in crisis by expanding access to community-based mobile crisis response and stabilization services;

2) further integrates child welfare services with the System of Care for children’s behavioral health;

3) makes improvements to the quality of the community-based system of supports and services using the System of Care values and principles and by adding a trauma-informed value to the system; and

4) makes improvements to the system in alignment with the DCYF Adequacy and Enhancement Assessment, the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, and the 10-Year Mental Health Plan.

Lastly, the bill incorporates the work from Kids Count Juvenile Justice Project by creating connections between court-involved children and the System of Care.

Many across the Granite State are talking about the need to pass SB 14. Check out some of the latest articles and opinion pieces on the bill here.

Our kids can't wait. This year, lawmakers must pass SB 14.

All bills on which the CBHC is taking a position this year are:







 CBHC Position

 SB 14    Relative to Child Welfare   This bill establishes a system of care for all children, makes improvements to the system of care for children with behavioral health needs, and makes mobile crisis services available statewide.    Support
 HB 677   Relative to Discipline of Students, Addressing Students' Behavioral Health Needs, and Making and Appropriation Therefor   This bill modifies the policy for discipline and expulsions from school. It also aids local school districts in enacting MTSS-B, a prevention framework for schools.    Support
 HB 275    Relative to School Nurse Certification    This bill removes the certification requirements for school nurses.     Oppose
HB 383   Relative to Nondiscrimination in Public and Nonpublic Schools   This bill provides that the state law against discrimination will apply to any public or nonpublic school that receives public funds.   Support
HB 652   Relative to Suicide Prevention   This bill requires the state board of education to adopt rules requiring teachers and administrators in public schools receive annual training in suicide awareness and prevention.   Support
SB 177   Relative to the Use of Physical Restraints on Persons Who Are Involuntarily Committed   This bill clarifies when physical restraints may be used to transport a person being admitted to New Hampshire hospital or a designated receiving facility.   Support
SB 196   Relative to Non-Academic Surveys Administered by a Public School to Its Students   This bill makes changes to the requirements for school district policies governing the administration of non-academic surveys or questionnaires.   Support
SB 274   Relative to the Newborn Home Visiting Program   This bill requires that Medicaid Home Visiting be made available to all Medicaid-eligible families.   Support
SB 282   Relative to Suicide Prevention Education in Schools   This bill requires school districts and chartered public schools to: I. Develop a policy for preventing, assessing the risk of, and responding to student suicide. II. Provide training for faculty, staff, and school volunteers on suicide prevention.   Support
SB 294   Relative to Placement Costs for Juvenile Diversion Programs   This bill provides for the transfer of funds from the department of health and human services to municipalities and nongovernmental organizations to encourage the development of local juvenile diversion programs.   Support
SB 295   Relative to the Office of the Child Advocate   This bill gives the Offics of Child Advocate necessary oversight to protect New Hampshire's children.   Support
SB 302   Relative to Suspension and Expulsion of Pupils   This bill clarifies student behavior that justifies suspension and expulsion from school, limits the time a student may be suspended from school, and provides for educational assignments for suspended students.   Support
SB 308   Relative to the Health Care Workforce and Making Appropriations Therefor   This bill takes a holistic approach to addressing New Hampshire's health care workforce shortage.   Support
HB 163   Relative to the Definition of Child Abuse   This bill adds sexual reassignment to the definition of an abused child.   Oppose
HB 131   Establishing a Commission on Mental Health Education and Behavioral Health and Wellness Programs   This bill establishes a commission to develop and promote mental health programs in kindergarten through grade 12.   Support
HB 231   Requiring School Districts to Establish Policies Relating to Suspensions and Expulsions   This bill requires the state board of education to require school districts to adopt policies regarding school suspensions and expulsions.   Support