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Mental health grants from ACA target NH

Union Leader Correspondent

August 08. 2014 6:25PM

NASHUA — Four organizations in New Hampshire have been awarded a total of nearly $1 million in Affordable Care Act funding to help provide mental illness services to Granite State residents.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that 221 health centers throughout the nation are each receiving a portion of $54.6 million in Affordable Care Act dollars.

The four agencies in New Hampshire that have been awarded grants include $250,000 to Goodwin Community Health of Somersworth, $250,000 to Manchester Community Health Center, $171,360 to the city of Manchester and $250,000 to Harbor Homes, Inc. of Nashua.

In all, $921,360 in grants have been awarded to New Hampshire health organizations as part of the initiative. “These awards will further reduce the barriers that too often prevent people from getting the help they need for mental health problems,” Sylvia M. Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a release. “Health centers with these awards are on the front lines of better integrating mental health into primary care and improving access through the Affordable Care Act.”

Carol Furlong, vice-president of operations at Harbor Homes in Nashua, said her organization is grateful for the grant.

“Integrating medical and behavioral services reduces the stigma of receiving care for a mental illness, improves access to services and improves the efficiency of the care as it enables all providers and patients to work together as a team,” Furlong said in a statement.

Harbor Homes will use the money to hire more mental health professionals, employ team-based care models add extra behavioral health and substance use disorder services, Furlong said.

“This will be used to help expand our mental health service offerings so that we can hire more licensed professionals and train primary care physicians,” echoed Donna Collins of Harbor Homes. “We are so thrilled.”

The new funding comes just as Harbor Homes prepares to open its Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center in October.

The new, 15,000-square-foot clinic at 45 High St. will feature 14 primary care examination rooms, two nursing stations, a pharmacy, cafeteria, eye care area, showers and dental laboratory, along with a recuperative care center to help those who need a place to stay after medical procedures, illnesses or surgeries.

Health General News New Hampshire Manchester Nashua Somersworth Top Section Stories

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