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The Mental Health Legal Rights Fund and Disability Rights Center - NH wish to thank these donors for their contributions to improving community based services to New Hampshire's citizens with serious mental illness through their generous contributions to the fund.
Updated January 2, 2015
2-12-2014 FEDERAL JUDGE APPROVES CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT EXPANDING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES CONCORD, NH
FEB. 12, 2014 – Judge Steven J. McAuliffe issued a final order today in the case of Amanda D. v. Hassan, approving the landmark class action settlement agreement for expanded community mental health services. The order gives the State a green light to begin implementing the new service provisions, expected to impact thousands of people with serious mental illness throughout New Hampshire. The plaintiffs, represented by Disability Rights Center - NH; Devine Millimet; and the Center for Public Representation; and the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the United States Department of Justice, and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, filed the agreement with the court in December 2013.
Under the approved agreement, New Hampshire will expand its supported housing to include a minimum of 450 supported housing units, add Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) to serve 1500 people, and significantly expand supported employment programs, creating opportunities for individuals to join the workforce, engage in productive activities, and improve the quality of their lives. The agreement also introduces mobile crisis services in the Concord, Manchester, and Nashua regions, as part of an effort to better serve people with mental illness and to divert individuals from hospitals and institutions by building capacity through community-based alternatives proven effective at reducing the need for emergency room and inpatient beds.
The provisions of the agreement gained widespread support from class members and stakeholders alike, including the named plaintiffs, the Office of Public Guardian, Tri-County Guardianship Services, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), former DHHS commissioner Donald Shumway, and Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center director, Professor Robert Drake, MD, PhD. “Having worked in social services planning and administration for over forty years, and being deeply involved in and committed to developing community mental health services for individuals with serious mental illness, I wholeheartedly support the Settlement Agreement and believe it will signficantly benefit the class members in this case,” said Don Shumway, President and CEO of Crotched Mountain Foundation and former DHHS Commissioner. The services included in the Agreement are proven, cost-effective measures that lead to recovery and the ability of people with serious mental illness to live successful and fulfilling lives in the community. The central components of the services include:
January 6, 2014: Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement
December 2013: Class Action Settlement Agreement
December 19, 2013: Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Proposed Class Action Settlement
March 27, 2012 United States Complaint-in-Intervention
December 9, 2011: US Department of Justice responds to NH Attorney general's letter, standing by its conclusions and noting that NH itself had already declared the mental health system "broken" and "in crisis". See letter from US Assistant Attorney General Perez to NH Attorney General Delaney.
April 2011: US Department of Justice finds that NH "fails to provide services to qualified individuals with mental illness in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs in violation of the ADA." See DOJ Report with findings and recommendations here.
August 2008: Addressing the Critical Mental Health Needs of NH’s Citizens A Strategy for Restoration: the Mental Health Ten Year Plan by NH Department of Health & Human Services, New Hampshire Hospital Bureau of Behavioral Health and The Community Behavioral Health Association, commonly known as the Ten Year Plan.