Addressing Mental Health Of Children Focus Of Rally At State House

May 9, 2013

People rally outside the State House in Concord on Thursday to recognize Children's Mental Health Awareness day.
Credit Michael Brindley / NHPR

About 100 people gathered at the State House Plaza on Thursday to highlight children’s mental health awareness.

Many there said more funding is needed to make sure children have access to proper mental health care.

Francine Gagne with the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center says children are often overlooked in the discussion about funding for mental health programs.

“It’s always really tricky to try to find the resources that we need for kids who are really struggling. One of our biggest areas these days is our issues with being able to get children into New Hampshire hospital, which has become a real problem.”

Governor Maggie Hassan spoke at the event, and said on average nine children a day in the state have to wait for mental health services.

She says her budget proposal helps by creating 10 new Assertive Community Treatment, or ACT, teams.

“Including six specifically for children, to help those who are in crisis.”

Hassan says her budget also adds a designated receiving facility and expands the number of acute residential treatment beds.

The $28 million Hassan set aside for new mental health programs was kept intact in the budget passed by the House.

The Senate is now considering the two-year spending plan.