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Here is the state of behavioral and mental health in New Hampshire:
Behavioral health statistics:
Across the state, 15 percent of teens and adults suffer from a diagnosable mental illness. There are an estimated 200,000 people in New Hampshire with unmet needs for mental health treatment or substance use disorder services.
The behavioral health workforce: over 1,600 licensed behavioral health professionals in NH – psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, professional counselors and marriage & family therapists. They are well-trained, underpaid and overworked.
Inpatient mental health services: 95 treatment beds at six state hospitals for people with serious illness who require hospitalization or intensive care . Hospital emergency departments do not have separate behavioral health units that focus on providing short-term crisis stabilization. The New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHA) Commission on Behavioral Health has recommended expanding the capacity of inpatient beds to help reduce admissions into New Hampshire’s emergency departments.
There are an estimated 4,000 New Hampshire adults who need intensive treatment for substance use disorders but do not receive services because there is no placement available.
Although the behavioral health workforce is stable at about 1,600 providers, their caseloads continue to grow because there are not enough treatment resources available for all New Hampshire residents with mental illness or substance use disorder problems.
State of behavioral health in New Hampshire: The majority of state funding for behavioral health services comes from the federal government and is subject to cuts.
In 2014, federal Medicaid dollars provided $126 million (44 percent) of total revenue that supports the behavioral health system in New Hampshire. There has been a 55 percent reduction in available funding through Medicaid since 2008 nationwide due to the recession and changing federal priorities.
There is a lot of uncertainty about whether Medicaid funding will be slashed further under proposed health care reforms in Congress, which would mean an additional 10 percent reduction in federal revenue for behavioral health services in New Hampshire.