AP NEWS

House approves children’s mental health bill

May 8, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A bill aimed at strengthening New Hampshire’s comprehensive system of care for children with mental health problems has moved another step forward.

The state in recent years has been building a system that emphasizes family-driven, community-based services coordinated across child protection, juvenile justice and other systems. The House on Wednesday 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 say the changes are needed as the state struggles with a child protection crisis, an opioid epidemic and an inadequate mental health system. They believe it ultimately will save the state money by preventing more costly hospitalizations, litigation and out-of-state placements.

The bill goes back to the Senate, which will be asked to approve changes made by the House.