HB 208 is AN ACT establishing a commission to study current mental health procedures for involuntary commitment.
History: New Hampshire, over the last twenty years, has experienced a degradation in management of the care of those with serious mental illness. This is a result of the closing of inpatient resources for voluntary and involuntary treatment, shrinkage of resources for community services and some increase in need. The current practice of “re-IEA-ing” a person held in an Emergency Department for weeks on end is inconsistent with 135:C which requires that an individual be given a hearing before a judge within 3 days (not including weekends or holidays) of initiating IEA.
NHNA’s Commission on Government Affairs is in favor of the passage of HB 208, as presented at the Legislative Town Hall Forum on January 26.
An initial hearing on this bill was held on January 18. A subcommittee work session is scheduled for January 31.
This bill was amended by the House HHS Committee to add an RN to the commission, to be appointed by NHNA. This bill will be on the House floor on Wednesday, 2/15/17.
On 2/22/17 this bill PASSED in the House and moved to Senate Health & Human Services Committee.
Joan Widmer spoke in favor of this bill on behalf of NHNA at the hearing before Senate Committee on Health & Human Services on 3/28/17. On 4/06/17 this bill PASSED in the Senate. On 6/1/17 the House concurred with the Senate version of the bill. On 6/13/17 this bill was ordered enrolled.
NHNA has a seat on the Commission that will be created by this bill.