For Immediate Release
March 17, 2016
CONCORD – As part of her efforts to promote the integration of behavioral health and medical care in order to improve the health and well-being of New Hampshire’s citizens, Governor Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers today announced the establishment of the Division of Behavioral Health within DHHS.
“Our strained mental health system and the heroin and opioid crisis are urgent public health and safety challenges facing our state, and as substance misuse and mental illness can often co-occur, we know that strengthening behavioral health requires an integrated, holistic approach,” Governor Hassan said. “The new Division of Behavioral Health will help ensure a unified response to substance misuse and mental health as we continue our efforts to implement the landmark mental health settlement and the federal transformation waiver for New Hampshire’s behavioral health delivery system, as well as our ongoing efforts to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic and save lives.”
“The department’s ongoing effort to implement the Community Mental Health Agreement and the new Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Medicaid waiver that focuses on strengthening the state’s behavioral health system, as well as its response to the ongoing opioid epidemic and waitlists for admission to inpatient behavioral health care services, requires a new coordinated response. The new Division of Behavioral Health will provide that response,” said Commissioner Meyers. “While it is crucial that the Department’s services are more closely integrated, the effort to strengthen and integrate the state’s behavioral health system must be statewide. The new division will work closely with providers, community leaders and advocates to join forces to achieve a stronger behavioral health system for our citizens.”
Katja Fox, who currently serves as the Director of Strategic Integration for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Services, will serve as the Director of the Division of Behavioral Health. Ms. Fox also coordinates the implementation of the Community Mental Health Agreement.The Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) will oversee and coordinate the department’s programs and policies for substance use disorder and mental health services for both adults and children. The Bureau of Mental Health Services, the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, children’s behavioral health programs and the state’s behavioral health facilities, including New Hampshire Hospital and Glencliff Home, will be organized under the new Division of Behavioral Health.