Senate passes children's mental health bill

The New Hampshire Senate has approved a bill aimed at strengthening the state’s comprehensive system of care for children with mental health problems.

The state in recent years has been moving toward a system that emphasizes family-driven, community-based services coordinated across child protection, juvenile justice and other systems. The Senate on Thursday passed a follow-up bill, the centerpiece of which is the creation of mobile crisis teams for children within an hour’s reach statewide.

Supporters of the bill say too many children are being left behind as the state struggles with a child protection crisis, an opioid epidemic and an inadequate mental health system. They said the bill ultimately will save the state money by preventing more costly hospitalizations, litigation and out-of-state placements.

The bill now goes to the House.

Click here to read the full article in the Associated Press.