In The News...

To the Editor:

Earlier this February, the Senate Education Committee, in a 3-2 vote, voted to strike down Senate Bill 431, a critical bill which allows schools and organizations to collect the data necessary to provide with federal prevention grants, including those utilized for the system of children’s behavioral health care.

As reported in the Monitor last month, in 2016, the New Hampshire Legislature took a major step forward by directing our state to develop a comprehensive, coordinated system of behavioral health care for children.

ROCHESTER — Rochester School Department officials say they’re worried the Senate may kill a bill next month that could cause Rochester to lose up to $1 million in annual grant revenue it uses to help homeless, hungry and substance-using students.

New Hampshire has made “important incremental improvements” in establishing a system of care for children with behavioral health needs, though significant gaps in services remain, according to an annual progress report issued by the state.

The hour has come when we need to do the right thing as a state and provide the prevention, treatment and environment of recovery for those who are struggling.

CONCORD — Advocates for addiction support programs, the homeless, domestic violence prevention and mental health appealed to lawmakers for sustained or increased funding, as the House Finance Committee began hearings Thursday on its version of the spending plan for the next biennium.

Every other day there is a drug death in New Hampshire. There would be more deaths if those saved by Narcan had not been found in time. (Narcan is the medication that blocks the effect of opiates and reverses respiratory arrest and is currently available only to EMT personnel.) Let us call this what it is: an epidemic that is killing our young people and destroying families.

The overarching goal of the New Hampshire Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative is to completely overhaul the way services are delivered to children.

“We’re all in it for the long haul, on the order of 5-10 years,” explains Effie Malley, director.