Do you want another bureaucratic position created at the New Hampshire Department of Education? One that would work with school counselors but not treat the children who desperately need services?
The mental health needs of children are probably more important today than at any other time. The COVID shut-downs of schools and the lack of socialization are having a terrible impact on many children throughout New Hampshire.
I interact with New Hampshire parents daily whose children have mental break-downs because of the isolation from school closures. It is important to mention that there are some who are still thriving, but that is not the case for many children in our state.
Fortunately, many of these cases do not rise to the level of desperation. But for some children, they do.
When children suffer emotionally, sometimes that results in depression, anger, and even the worse, suicidal attempts. Health care professionals are the ones who have to deal with those situations, and oftentimes, the first responder is the local Emergency Room.
Once those children are admitted, there is a call to Hampstead Hospital; the only treatment facility in New Hampshire that admits adolescents. It would be nice to report that when this happens, children are admitted immediately and treated by a specialist in mental health. Unfortunately, that is not the case. If there is no space available, the child can sit at the hospital for days and sometimes a week or longer.
Can you imagine the cost to the state when day after day, these kids are sitting in the local hospital untreated by a mental health professional?
HB 96 creates a new bureaucratic position within the Department of Education. This position does not, in any way, meet the psychological needs of children that require services right now. It does not alleviate the wait time that would offer some relief to the taxpayers, and it certainly does not offer relief to the children sitting in limbo.
There are better ways to allocate these funds to address the much-needed issue of treating mental health for children who need that right now.
Please send an e-mail to the House and Senate Education members. Ask them to vote Inexpedient to Legislate ITL on HB 96-FN-A and prioritize any state funding to treat children versus creating more bureaucracy.
Send an e-mail to all of these Representatives.
WHO is my Senator? http://gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspx
WHO is my Representative? http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/default.aspx