N.H. to Receive Up To $150 Million from Washington for Behavioral Health System

Jan 5, 2016

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire will receive a big influx of federal dollars to treat addiction and mental illness.

The state will get up to $30 million a year for five years total. And for example, this year it would mean about an added 25 percent on top of what the state has budgeted for mental health and addiction.

That's a big gain for the state says Steve Norton, the executive director of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Services.  But the devil's in the details: like how the money will be spent and how any new services will be evaluated.

"The real question is going to be, how is this program going to be implemented and to what measure are these programs going to be held accountable - and a lot of that work still has to be done," says Norton. 

Gov. Maggie Hassan and officials with the state's Department of Health and Human Services say they hope to create new regional collaboration networks that build addiction treatment capacity throughout the state. DHHS will start a series of public meetings later this month on how to spend the money.