NH News
6:33 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Feds Blast NH Mental Health System

In a strongly worded letter, the U. S. Department of Justice has concluded the state’s mental health system is “broken” and “in crisis.”

In the eyes of Washington, the state is violating the civil rights of people with mental illness.

In its letter, the Justice Department says not only does the mental health system violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, but it’s an inefficient use of resources and bad policy.

The Department finds the state lacks key services, like housing, crisis intervention and employment support.

That leaves people with mental illness trapped in state institutions because there’s no money to fund alternatives.

Earlier this week, the Attorney General defended the state system, telling federal authorities the state is trying to make improvements through its 10 year plan.

Amy Messer with the Disabilities Rights Center says that’s not good enough.

“That’s just not sufficient for people who are stuck in these institutional settings and be fully engaged in their communities.”

The U. S. Justice Department says its considering enforcement options, including litigation.

New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney declined comment until he reads the letter.