On May 11, the House voted to pass the bill, which had already been passed by the Senate. The bill outlines steps towards building a system of care and is a cornerstone to advancing the work of the Collaborative. Senate Bill 534 is the result of long work by state agencies, providers, school districts, child advocates, and our lead sponsor, Senator Jeanie Forrester.
Senate Bill 534 directs the Departments of Education and of Health and Human Services to start establishing a system of care for children's behavioral health in New Hampshire. This approach to children's services is a proven way to improve the lives of children and their families while reducing the use of less effective restrictive, disruptive, and expensive interventions. A system of care approach gives youth and their families a strong voice in the way their care is provided, which increases their engagement and improves outcomes.
The bill is sponsored by a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives and supported by the Departments of Education and of Health and Human Services, NAMI NH, the Community Behavioral Health Association, the NH Hospital Association, and numerous organizations.
Updates on the bill’s progress will be published on the Collaborative Facebook page at NH 4 Youth. Thanks to all who advocated in support of the bill.