In Depth: Mental Health Care For N.H.'s Children

May 21, 2018

The Exchange: In-Depth. Our series continues with a focus on children. Research shows many cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and that addressing trauma early can help prevent some disorders. Meanwhile, the state is required by law to provide better care for youth. We'll find out how the system is working from teachers, providers, and parents.  

GUESTS:

  • Jodie Lubarsky - Licensed mental health worker and Director of Child, Adolescent and Family Services at Seacoast Mental Health Center.
  • Lisa Provost - Mother of a teen-age son who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and autism. She lives in Hudson. 
  • Fern Seiden - School counselor with the Merrimack School District.  
  • Erica Ungarelli - Director of the Bureau for Children’s Behavioral Health at DHHS.

Related Resources

In New Hampshire

In 2016, Governor Sununu signed into a law a bill calling for a top-to-bottow review of behavioral health services for children in New Hampshire. 

Since then, N.H. has made important, incremental improvements in its system of care for children. 

The N.H. Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative includes more than 50 organizations focused on mental health and substance use disorders affecting children, youth, and families. 

The FAST Forward program -- Families and Systems Together -- serves youth with serious emotional disturbances and their families. 

Project GROW, a partnership involving the N.H. Office of Student Wellness, the N.H. Bureau of Special Education, and the Center for Behavioral health Innovation at Antioch University, helps schools develop "trauma-informed" programs and systems. 

N.H. educators get educated on childhood trauma. 

National coverage

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has these suggestions for ensuring children with mental-health conditions are supported at school. 

From 2008 - 2015, kids' suicide-related hospital visits rose sharply

Common questions about diagnosis and treatment options for children with mental illnesses.