mental health

Thomas Fearon

After a private tour of Concord Hospital’s emergency department, which on one day in February had 22 patients awaiting psychiatric services in a space designed for 6, Governor Sununu told reporters New Hampshire needs as many as 50 new beds for mental health patients, but he wants to create a mental health system where demand is less.

Eating Disorders Are Wide-Reaching And Multifaceted

Apr 10, 2017
Pexels

The Internet, social media, and increased awareness both help and hinder eating disorder treatment and management. And now, as more men and pre-teens are diagnosed with eating disorders, approaches toward resolving these problems are constantly evolving.


The average number of people waiting to gain access to a mental health bed in New Hampshire is now 46, up from nine in 2013.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says he gets daily reports on the issue which he calls a crisis.

The governor has a meeting scheduled for Monday to develop plans to tackle the problem.

The executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness says the problem is exacerbated by hospitals closing their psychiatric units to focus on more profitable endeavors.

Transgender: Exploring Gender Identity

Mar 30, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Many people struggle with basic questions about gender and labels, including the concept of a transgender identity. While debate around recent legislation has brought the issue into the spotlight, social media and the internet have played a key role in shifting the culture's perspective on gender for several years.

On this edition of The Exchange, we'll look at the terms, the biology, and the emotional aspects of gender identity.


Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Portsmouth Regional Hospital will open more beds to psychiatric patients. The hospital hopes those beds will alleviate a backlog of patients boarded in emergency rooms.

On one day last month, a record 68 patients in acute mental health crises were stuck in emergency rooms around the state, waiting for a bed at New Hampshire Hospital, the state's lone psychiatric hospital. Now Portsmouth Regional will increase its inpatient psychiatric beds from eight to twelve in the hopes of chipping away at that wait time. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Michael Treadwell sat at the back of a courtroom.  In a windbreaker and khaki pants, he leaned over his work boots, elbows on his knees. At first, I thought he was chewing gum – a bold choice in a courtroom.  When we began to talk, I discovered it wasn't gum Michael was chewing.  It was his own gums. Michael doesn't have any teeth.

Jack Rodolico

Starting October 30, Andrew Dixon spent 13 days in the emergency room at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester. And as his father, John Dixon, describes that time, you might think Andrew had committed a crime. 

NHPR

The state of New Hampshire could find itself back in court this year if it doesn’t comply with a class-action settlement aimed at rebuilding the state’s damaged mental health system. 

  A survey from the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows that for people with insurance, mental healthcare is still tougher to access than other kinds of care. There are a variety of reasons for that. Here to discuss this report is Ken Norton. He’s the executive director of NAMI New Hampshire. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

The state's top health official wants to know if layoffs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock will affect care at the state psychiatric hospital.

In a letter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO Dr. James Weinstein, Health Commissioner Jeff Meyers asks if psychiatric staff will be among the 84 layoffs from across the healthcare system. The letter comes as Dartmouth-Hitchcock's relationship with the state is under a lot of scrutiny. 

NHPR

Even as the state moves forward with plans for meeting the mental health needs of Granite Staters, workers in this field, from psychiatrists to specially trained nurses, are scarce. The factors are many, ranging from inadequate salaries to licensing boards that make it difficult for job seekers to cross state lines. 


THOMAS FEARON

The Executive Council voted unanimously today to allow Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital to mange care at the state psychiatric hospital for the next three years.

THOMAS FEARON

The Executive Council is slated to vote Wednesday on a contract between the state hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. The vote comes as an independent investigation gets underway about a former patient's suicide. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A group of local and national advocates are calling on the federal government to investigate whether it’s unjust for people with a mental illness, who haven't been convicted of a crime, to be treated in a prison.

New Hampshire is one of only a few states that transfers individuals with a violent mental illness to the Department of Corrections, and it’s been doing so for more than three decades.

7.21.16: Finding Music After 40 & Sleepover Podcast

Jul 21, 2016
eldeeem via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/gXijFE

A new study has confirmed a sad truth about our listening habits - people stop discovering new music around age 33.  Today on Word of Mouth, a seasoned music editor offers tips on how not to get stuck listening to the songs you loved in high school for the rest of your life.

The state is behind schedule in expanding the types of community-based mental health services that keep people out of hospitals and other institutions. The timeline for developing those services was laid out in a $30 million class action lawsuit settlement in 2014 that alleged New Hampshire was violating the civil rights of people with mental illness. We check in on statewide efforts to improve the state's mental health system, what data tells us about the situation, and goals for implementation going forward.


Thomas Fearon

Here is the scathing conclusion from a report about New Hampshire’s struggling mental health system: “The time for patience…is over.”

   A new 10-bed mental health crisis unit is open at New Hampshire Hospital after almost a year of delays.

The unit opened Tuesday in Concord and will admit people over age 18 for stays of three days or less. One goal is to reduce pressure on emergency rooms that are often left caring for patients when beds aren't available at the New Hampshire Hospital, the only state-run psychiatric hospital. On Tuesday, 23 people were on the hospital's waiting list.

THOMAS FEARON

  

The Executive Council has voted 5-0 to allow Dartmouth-Hitchcock to take over managing the state psychiatric hospital in Concord, June 30. But a core group of psychiatrist staff refuse to work with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire is taking a step toward setting up a more coordinated system to help children with behavioral health needs.

On Monday, the governor signed into law a bill calling for a top-to-bottom review of what behavioral health services are available to kids in New Hampshire, how they’re delivered (in schools, in the community and elsewhere), and how to make sure separate agencies are working together to get kids the care they need. 

Thomas Fearon

An ongoing staffing skirmish at New Hampshire Hospital threatens to create a backlog in the state’s already fragile mental health system.

The conflict pits one of New Hampshire's most esteemed medical institutions – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital – against one of the most specialized psychiatric teams.

Casey McDermott / NHPR

State leaders recently joined the medical and mental health community to launch  "Change Direction NH," part of a national initiative to raise awareness of mental health disorders and  eliminate the stigma around these issues.  Long considered an afterthought to physical well being, mental health has gained recognition as having equal importance, although it's still not easy for many to discuss or seek help. Change Direction NH attempts to fix that, promoting awareness of the signs of mental illness.  Still, challenges remain, including access to treatment.  


Casey McDermott, NHPR

Former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John T. Broderick has spoken openly about his son’s mental illness, and his family’s difficulty getting him the help he needed.

Now, Broderick is one of many state leaders speaking up to promote open conversations around mental health. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The state plans to streamline its mental health and substance abuse programs for children. 

iStockphoto

When it comes to helping children with problems like anxiety, depression or substance abuse, a lot of people become part of the decision-making process. There's often  the local school district, primary care doctors, and community health workers -- and sometimes even the courts or DCYF. 

At times, a child can get lost in the middle. A bill this session aims to change that by making sure all the parties involved work together to reduce costs and improve outcomes for kids.

Monadnock Region To Lose Inpatient Psychiatric Unit

May 6, 2016
www.ratehospitals.com

An inpatient psychiatric unit in the Monadnock region will close because of staffing issues.

The move at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene takes effect July 1. 

Hospital officials say a nationwide shortage of psychiatrists has limited their ability to treat patients - while the unit is licensed to treat 12 adult and six adolescent patients, staffing issues have meant they've only had an average of three to four adults a day. 

Jack Rodolico

There is this monthly meeting that is typically as bureaucratic as it sounds: the Governor’s Commission on Medicaid Care Management. But last month, things were different. A group of mothers were there to testify with their children in tow. 

Grappling With Homelessness in New Hampshire

Jan 12, 2016
Jeff / Flickr/CC

It's a question Granite State communities are grappling with, as progress appears to have stalled on finding housing for homeless people. Advocates agree a dearth of affordable housing exacerbates the problem. But there's debate over whether providing temporary shelter can forestall lasting solutions on such challenges as unemployment and substance abuse.

Courtesy NH House of Representatives

New Hampshire is falling behind on several of the requirements from the landmark mental health settlement it reached in 2014, according to the latest report from an outside reviewer who’s evaluating the state’s progress.

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.

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