One advantage of this move is that it gives increased visibility to behavioral health issues. Secondly, issues in behavioral health are often complex and cut across DHHS subdivisions. Elevating behavioral health to the division level increases coordination. Most importantly, the move will expedite the DHHS response to crises, such as waitlists for admission to inpatient behavioral health services. On a recent day, there were five children waiting for beds.
Katja Fox is the new director of the Division of Behavioral Health. (See next month’s e-news for a profile of Katja.) The Division will oversee state programs and policies for substance use disorder and mental health services for both adults and children. The Bureau of Mental Health Services (formerly the Bureau of Behavioral Health), the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, children’s behavioral health programs, and the State’s behavioral health facilities, including New Hampshire Hospital and Glencliff Home—all will be organized under the new Division.