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In Crisis

Report: N.H. mental health beds full because there are not enough community treatment options

Friday, May 2, 2014

One patient in a New Hampshire psychiatric ward this winter had been waiting 180 days to find an appropriate place to go after being declared ready to leave. Children ready to leave the hospital after being treated for mental illness waited on average eight days. Elderly patients waited on average 21 days, clinically ready to go back to their communities but unable to leave the hospital, often because they had …

A year of change, momentum for mental health in New Hampshire

Sunday, February 16, 2014

One year ago last week, Gov. Maggie Hassan implored legislators to help fix a mental health system that was leaving dozens of patients languishing for days in hospitals unable to treat them. She proposed a biennial budget with $28 million to address “one of our most pressing public health challenges,” the lack of …

State settles lawsuit alleging it segregated the mentally ill; system fixes to cost millions

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The state has settled a lawsuit that alleged it needlessly institutionalized people with mental illnesses instead of providing adequate resources in their home communities. It agreed to expand services for people in crisis as well as to do more to help people with mental illnesses live independently. The settlement doesn’t prescribe how much the state must spend to accomplish those tasks; that is …

Franklin mental health facility slowly adding capacity

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Two months after opening, a new psychiatric services unit at Franklin Regional Hospital is operating at about half capacity, with plans to be fully operational by the end of the year, officials there said. The unit, called a …

Trying to help others help themselves

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lance Dixon kissed his wife goodbye on a warm, sunny day. He walked a mile, to Franklin’s Ward One bridge, strangely calm after decades of inner turmoil that he never quite understood. He had what he needed to …

Record number of people waited last week in NH emergency departments for mental health services

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Despite a renewed commitment to funding mental health services in the state budget, passed two months ago, a record number of people suffering a mental health crisis waited overnight for a bed at New Hampshire Hospital. Last Monday, 47 people waited in local emergency rooms for a bed …

Franklin hospital clears first hurdle to opening new beds for psychiatric care

Friday, July 26, 2013

A plan to open 10 new beds for inpatient psychiatric care at Franklin Regional Hospital cleared its first hurdle yesterday, receiving a designation of “not subject to review” from the state Health Services Planning and Review Board. The board oversees inpatient health care projects that carry more than …

New psychiatric unit slated for Franklin Regional Hospital

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

After several attempts over the past few years, Franklin Regional Hospital plans to begin serving patients in need of acute psychiatric care in October. State officials hope the hospital’s 10-bed unit will shorten the list of patients spending days at a time in emergency rooms waiting for mental …

Mental health advocates cautiously optimistic about state budget

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Even without casino money or a jump in the gas or cigarette taxes, the $28 million Gov. Maggie Hassan wants for improved mental health care remains in the state budget headed to the full Senate this week. Advocates are cautiously optimistic it will stay there despite a looming …

I’m one of the 26 percent with mental illness

Sunday, March 17, 2013

After the Monitor’s mental health series, “In Crisis,” was published last week, I got one reaction more than any other: Readers were surprised, some unconvinced, that 26 percent of New Hampshire’s residents have a mental health disorder. The …

In crisis: Future uncertain for mental health care in N.H.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Twelve years ago, Pam Brown was working as a banker and looking to open her own consulting business when her son, then 18, suddenly dropped out of high school, withdrew and stopped eating. His family eventually was able …

Mental health court gives offenders treatment, not time

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Leaning on her cane, a 56-year-old woman made her way to the front of a Concord courtroom to resolve charges of simple assault and disturbing the peace. Her schizophrenia and delusions had, once again, required a call to …

New Hampshire's mental health system: From leader to failure

Monday, March 11, 2013

During his 1971 inaugural address, then-Gov. Walter Peterson identified seven goals for his next term. First on the Republican’s list was improving mental health care. Peterson wanted to stop warehousing people with mental illness at the state’s psychiatric …

Communty-level care is key to help patients return home

Monday, March 11, 2013

By the time Bert Shaw arrived in New Hampshire nearly 10 years ago to be nearer his daughter, he’d been hospitalized 15 times and had had a few run-ins with the police, all a result of his bipolar …

Mentally ill patients face spartan conditions, long delays in New Hampshire 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Joshua Knight was alone, had been for hours. He curled up on the mattress on the floor, shut his eyes and tried to block out his memories of the day. Knight, 33, had been handcuffed and dragged out …