The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released a proposed 10-Year Mental Health Plan for public hearing and written comment. For the first time, children are included in that plan. Ensuring that children have access to comprehensive home and community-based supports and services is a high priority to keep our kids healthy and well-supported.
Click here to see the plan!
The State is providing two opportunities for you to provide your input on the plan:
- At a public hearing in Concord on Monday, December 3, 2018 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at the Howard Recreation Center Auditorium, Hugh Gallen State Office Park Campus, Pleasant Street, Concord, NH; and
- A 3-week public comment period through Monday, December 10, 2018. Written submissions may be sent to 10yrMHplan@dhhs.nh.gov.
As you read through the plan and come up with your response, we hope that you will continue to find these talking points helpful.
Topline Message: The New Hampshire children’s behavioral health system remains underfunded and fragmented, leaving children and families without access to the integrated supports needed to address problems early, when treatment is most effective and efficient. Call on the Governor and Legislature to commit to investing adequate resources to move the 10-Year Mental Health Plan forward during the next legislative session.
Additional talking points, especially if they align with your personal experience or story:
Continue to expand the System of Care for children with behavioral health needs
Create a single point of entry into the system for children and families
Increase coordination within State government. Eliminate the silos!
Integrate pockets of excellence around the State into a true state-wide system of care
Expand and coordinate suicide prevention efforts throughout New Hampshire communities
Reduce reliance on restrictive settings through expansion of evidence-based interventions in the community
Address waitlists for services & workforce challenges
Further integration of behavioral health and primary care
Expand support for school-based behavioral health interventions. Schools play an important in the promotion of children’s behavioral health, early identification and coordination when treatment is needed.
Ensure the System of Care values and principles are incorporated at every level of NH's child-serving system and that policies, procedures and practices across the service continuum reflect these values and principles.
Ensure all children, youth, and families have equal access to the System of Care regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, income, geographic location, or any other demographic detail or socio-economic factor. Promoting health equity and ensuring fair and just opportunities to be healthy must be a priority for the entire system serving children, youth, and families in NH.
Fill the gaps in the service array for children with behavioral health needs
- Prioritize access to mobile crisis response and stabilization services for children. This is a massive gap in our system. When a child is in crisis, families have limited options and often feel compelled to call the police or bring them to the emergency room. That's not where we should be treating our children with the greatest needs.
- Prioritize the expansion of evidenced-based home-and community-based supports services for children with complex behavioral health needs
- Continue to expand the availability of high fidelity wraparound services statewide and for ALL children who need it
- Ensure all programs and services are trauma-responsive
- Ensure availability of evidence-based early childhood interventions
- Increase availability of respite care to families
- Take steps to renovate or relocate the current children's unit at New Hampshire Hospital to a setting that is intended and more appropriate for children
- Increase availability of trained Peer Support Specialists (with lived experience) across the service array, including at Emergency Departments