Team to review mental health cases at NH hospital

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan says she’s asked a former state supreme court justice to lead a team to review concerns raised by recent incidents in Manchester involving patients with acute mental illness.

The team led by former Justice Joseph Nadeau, who chairs the state’s Board of Mental Health Practice, also will look at ongoing strains caused by mental health patients awaiting care in emergency rooms.

The review team will look at individual incidents at Elliot Hospital as well as the broader questions raised by the incidents, such as which resources are being used and how psychiatric patient emergencies are handled.

In the most recent incident, a patient attacked a security guard at the hospital last month.

Hassan said the Department of health and Human Services recently opened new beds at the State Hospital and opened a new receiving facility in Franklin. It also is working to expand community mental health services.

“We can all agree that our mental health system is deeply strained,” Hassan said in a statement. “We recognize that we will not address all of our challenges at once, and that the significant investment we are making in this biennium is the beginning of the process. But we must continually address and consider what is happening on the ground in our communities, and this review will be an important step in those efforts.”

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