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 New Hampshire'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 New Hampshire.
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