KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Signs Of Failure, Difficulties Evident In Nation’s Mental Health System

The Boston Globe reports on new federal government findings regarding a "crisis" in the New Hampshire state mental health system. Meanwhile, KHN reports on how mentally ill patients sometimes are left to languish in hospital emergency departments.

The Boston Globe: US Report Confirms N.H.'s Mental Health System Failing
A new report from the federal government confirms what New Hampshire officials have acknowledged for years: The state's mental health system is broken, failing and in crisis. The US Department of Justice's civil rights division recently investigated the state for possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It concluded that the state is violating the federal law by failing to provide adequate community-based services to people with mental illness, leading to needless and prolonged stays at New Hampshire Hospital, the state mental hospital, and Glencliff Home, its nursing home for those with serious mental illness or developmental disabilities (Ramer, 4/13).

Kaiser Health News: Mentally Ill Languish In Hospital Emergency Rooms
Mentally ill patients often languish in hospital emergency rooms for several days, sometimes longer, before they can be moved to a psychiatric unit or hospital. At most, they get drugs but little counseling, and the environment is often harsh (Gold, 4/13).

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