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Officials are seeking input on state's 10-year mental health plan starting tonight

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 24. 2018 10:57PM

CONCORD — State health officials are kicking off a series of discussions tonight seeking public input as they develop a 10-year mental health plan for New Hampshire.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers says the plan will provide a framework to anticipate and address the mental health needs of New Hampshire residents, and feedback from stakeholders and the public will inform the development of the plan.

“The landscape of mental health has changed significantly since the previous Ten-Year Mental Health Plan was developed in 2008,” said Meyers in a statement. “We continue to see an increase in demand for inpatient psychiatric treatment services, more children and families requiring a broad array of services, and the impact of the opioid epidemic on individuals, families and communities. If the new plan is to address mental health needs today and tomorrow, it is critical that we have input from all stakeholders, most importantly those who rely on these critical services.”

“Reforming New Hampshire’s mental health system has been a primary focus of my administration. How we best move forward in improving that system and expanding capacity is a key focus of the Ten-Year Mental Health Plan,” said Gov. Chris Sununu in a statement. “Transparency, a diversity of input and the ability to make modifications based on that input is essential in crafting that plan. I thank Commissioner Meyers and the Department for providing these additional opportunities.”

DHHS is holding six public information sessions in September and October around the state. Each session is scheduled to run from 6 to 7:30 p.m., beginning tonight in Keene.

DHHS officials plan to use the information provided through work groups along with public input to produce a draft report.

The last session in Concord on Oct. 25 will include an opportunity for input on a completed draft report, which officials expect to be ready for release by mid-October.

DHHS will offer a three-week written comment period on the draft report starting after the Concord session.

Mental Health

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