$10 M Grant Targets Young People with Severe Mental Illness, Emotional Disturbance

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has received funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to integrate physical and mental health care for young people with severe mental illness or severe emotional disturbance.

The department will receive $10 million over five years to support ProHealth NH, a program designed to improve the health and wellness of people ages 16 to 35 with severe emotional disturbance and severe mental illness.

“This grant will enable us to build upon the important work we began last year within the mental health system,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “Aligning physical health and mental health services makes perfect sense, and working with our largest mental health and community health partners to create a system of care will bring critical services to a greater number of young people, whose futures depend on them.”

DHHS will work with three Community Mental Health Centers and three Federally Qualified Health Centers to develop integrated health homes for people ages 16-35.

The goal of ProHealth NH is to integrate FQHC services, such as screening, detection and treatment of physical health conditions, within the CMHCs to improve and prevent future health conditions. ProHealth NH expects to enroll a total of 1,100 residents, who will benefit from integrated services such as trauma, depression and substance use screenings, evidenced-based behavioral health treatment, and health behavior change initiatives.

“Physical health and mental health are too often treated in isolation. Young people who participate in ProHealth NH will benefit from integrated physical and mental healthcare,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers. “CMHCs are already beginning to partner with the FQHCs in their regions to better integrate physical and behavioral health care within their communities. This grant will enable the Department and its community partners to expand on this work and improve mental and physical health outcomes for young people with mental health issues.”

The project will include workforce training and consultation, whole health education, individual and family support, referrals, and data collection and evaluation. The CMHCs participating in ProHealth NH are the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center, the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester and Community Partners in Dover. Participating FQHCs are the Health Care for the Homeless Program of Manchester, Lamprey Health Center and Goodwin Community Health.

Click here to read the full story on InDepthNH.org.