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NH Agrees to $30 Million Settlement in Mental Health Lawsuit

Friday, December 20, 2013

The state of New Hampshire has agreed to settle a major class-action lawsuit over its treatment of residents with serious mental illness.  The settlement agreement entered into by the Disabilities Rights Center, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), and the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office in the case of Amanda D. v. Hassan will significantly enhance and expand community-based mental health services for thousands of people with mental illness in the state.

Under the terms of the agreement announced on December 19, the state agrees to spend an additional $6 million in the current budget, plus an additional $23.7 million in the next two-year spending plan.  The resources will support more round-the-clock care for people in crisis, expand supported housing to include a minimum of 450 supported housing units, add Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) to serve 1500 people, and significantly expand supported employment programs, creating opportunities for individuals to join the workforce, engage in productive activities, and improve the quality of their lives.

The Disabilities Rights Center brought the suit in February, 2012 citing violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It was joined by six residents with psychiatric disabilities who were allegedly subjected to prolonged or needless stays in state institutions due to a lack of community-based mental health services. The DOJ joined the case in March, 2012, citing the same failures.

Read the Disabilities Rights Center's Press Release

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