New report paints a bleak picture of a ‘failing’ system
Published Sept. 23, 2008 in the Keene Sentinel
By Casey Farrar
Findings from an 18-month study, unveiled in a report Monday, showed that local law enforcement, hospital emergency rooms, the court system and county jails shoulder the burden of under-treated mental health conditions, according to Nicholas Toumpas, commissioner of the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services.
“(The state’s) mental health care system is failing and the consequence of these failures is being realized across the state and its communities,” Toumpas said.
The report prepared by the task force, a collaboration among the state health department, the New Hampshire Hospital Bureau of Behavioral Health and the Community Behavioral Health Association, recommended a multi-year plan to overhaul the system that includes more community-based housing for treatment and more money for maintaining qualified staff.
Kenneth Jue, CEO of Monadnock Family Services, a community mental health center serving the Monadnock Region, echoed the findings in a recent interview with The Sentinel.
The agency is beginning to come out of a financial crisis this year that has resulted in the loss of at least 12 employees and caused staff pay and benefits to be slashed by nearly 7 percent in May, Jue said.