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NAMI New Hampshire Identifies 2020 Legislative Priorities

In addition to advocating for mental health priorities at the national level, NAMI NH’s 2020 legislative priorities here in the Granite State include:

Pharmaceuticals & Pricing

  • Addressing rising prescription prices in NH, to ensure pharmaceutical treatment options are available to all.

Suicide Prevention Measures

  • Extreme Risk protective orders (temporary removal of firearms for individuals who are dangerous – especially as a suicide prevention measure).
  • Waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm.


  • Medicaid to schools.
  • Funding relative to multi-tiered systems of support.
  • Coverage for children’s early intervention services.
  • Provision of special education services for older students.

First Responders

  • Death benefits in instances of suicide loss.
  • Psychological exams.
  • Public review of officer-involved shootings.

Medicaid Block Grant

  • Opposing the Medicaid Block Grant proposal in favor of a more effective multi-tiered approach for the statewide mental health system.

Legislative Update - December 2019

NH State Budget Signed into Law

New Hampshire lawmakers and Governor Sununu arrived at a much-anticipated budget compromise right before the October 1, 2019 expiration of the continuing resolution funding state government.  The new budget will provide funding and support for many of the priority recommendations in the 10-Year Mental Health Plan to move forward.  Although not an all-inclusive list, among those initiatives are: 

  • A statewide mobile crisis response system for children experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Expansion of an additional mobile crisis response team, or crisis care unit (walk-in clinic for mental health emergencies) in the state.
  • Increased Medicaid reimbursement rates to all providers of 3.1% in FY20 and 3.1% in FY21.
  • Funding for an additional designated receiving facility (to accept involuntary emergency admissions).
  • Funding for NH’s suicide prevention hotline.
  • Transfer of the Philbrook Children’s Unit at New Hampshire Hospital to Hampstead Hospital.  
  • $250,000 in suicide prevention funding in FY20 and again in FY21.
  • $8 million to begin building a new hospital/unit for forensic patients.  

While some of these initiatives will be felt immediately, others will take months/years to operationalize.  However, they represent significant progress at improving the mental health service delivery system.  

Thank you to all who attended hearings, wrote letters or emails, called legislators, and otherwise advocated for mental health and suicide prevention in the Granite State.  Your voices carried a lot of weight in making mental health a priority this legislative session.  

Let’s do the same for the upcoming presidential primary and elevate the importance of improving the mental health service delivery system, suicide prevention, and research nationally by telling your stories and asking candidates key questions about mental health services. 

Sample Questions to Ask 2020 Presidential Candidates

Bird-Dogging Basics


Recent Testimony:

June 24, 2020

February 11, 2020

February 5, 2020

January 29, 2020

January 28, 2020

January 23, 2020

January 22, 2020

January 21, 2020

January 16, 2020

January 13, 2020

May 8, 2019

April 30, 2019

April 23, 2019

April 3, 2019

March 26, 2019

March 19, 2019

March 5, 2019

February 13, 2019

February 12, 2019

January 30, 2019

January 29, 2019

January 24, 2019

January 22, 2019

January 16, 2019

January 9, 2019

April 10, 2018

April 2, 2018

March 27, 2018

February 20, 2018

February 13, 2018

January 24, 2018

January 23, 2018

January 17, 2018

January 16, 2018

View the 2018 State of the State address. You can click here to skip to the section addressing mental health.

NAMI NH Position on Secure Psychiatric Unit

NAMI New Hampshire has a long history of opposing the transfer of patients from New Hampshire Hospital to the care of the Department of Corrections (Secure Psychiatric Unit).   Specifically, we are opposed to the commingling of individuals with mental illness who are committed under Involuntary Emergency Admission (IEA) with those who are criminally committed.  We have provided written and oral testimony at numerous legislative hearings to this effect.  NAMI NH continues to advocate for more resources to improve access to appropriate levels of care across the entire mental health system.  

To learn more about our policy position on this issue, please see:

2016 Letter Co-authored by NAMI NH, American Civil Liberties Union of NH, Disability Rights Center, and NH Legal Assistance.

Excerpt: "We write to express our opposition to the continued transfer of civilly committed patients from New Hampshire Hospital to the Secure Psychiatric Unit in the New Hampshire State Prison..."

The 10 Year Mental Health Plan

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released a final version of the new 10-Year Mental Health Plan.  Read the plan on the DHHS website.

NAMI NH has provided the following feedback to DHHS on the plan:

 General Talking points when contacting Legislators; House or Senate

Use your own words, but share your passion, it is critical that the Representatives hear about Mental Health

  • Mental Health is important to me, my family and our state and I am asking you to represent me and support increased funding
  • Myself/my family has been affected by mental illness, I support funding for improved services

Specific Talking points

  • Support the re-authorization of the NH Health Protection Program; also known as Medicaid Expansion; particularly the opportunity it offers for Substance misuse treatment and mental health treatment. Over 38,000 NH citizens are now insured and receive mental health services.
  • The NH Health Protection Program:
  • Provides insurance to NH’s working poor who cannot afford it.
  • Covers mental health and substance misuse disorders.
  • Saves money by lowering uncompensated hospital care.
  • Be prepared to wait to testify and leave your printed testimony if time runs out.
  • Fund the implementation of the “10 Year Plan”.
  • Fund the Mental Health Settlement Agreement.

Tips for Providing Testimony:

  • Arrive early to sign in to speak there will be a waiting list.
  • Your comments must be brief;  1-2 minutes maximum
  • If you prepare a testimony, bring printed copies to share with House members
The template below may assist you when preparing your testimony. After you prepare it, consider sending a copy to

Heading to the Hearing?

Let us know- Email

Addressing the Critical Mental Health Needs of NH Citizens – A ten year plan

en English