IOD To Lead Development of New Children’s Behavioral Health Resource Center

November 29, 2021

The NH Executive Council approved a $4.3 million, three-year contract to the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability (IOD) to develop a new Children’s Behavioral Health Resource Center (CBHRC). Working in collaboration with other institutions, family groups, providers, and youth and families, the CBHRC will strengthen the network of behavioral health supports for children across NH.

Many children and young adults have significant mental health needs that are not being met by the current system. Without proper support, many youth are ending up in more vulnerable circumstances, including being held in emergency rooms and on the psychiatric care waiting list. Prior to the pandemic, there was a shortage of providers, educators, and direct support professionals that could adequately support children's growing and complex behavioral health needs. Over the last year and a half, the demand for these services has increased significantly, exacerbating an already overstretched network of supports. The new center is designed to help address this shortage of resources by improving the capacities of providers, educators, and agencies to deliver high-quality, research-based practices across the state. The CBHRC will focus on providing evidence-based training, technical assistance, easy-to-access information about strengths-based and youth-centered practices and approaches to best address the behavioral health needs of children up to age twenty-one (21) years.

“We have a wonderful opportunity to create a system of supports to respond to youth and families in crisis and to help them find hope so they can move on and live their best lives. This can only happen, though, if we stand up and sustain research-based practices that are provided at the right time, matched to the youth’s and family’s need, and in the right amount.  We’re excited and honored to be part of the children’s system of care transformation,” said JoAnne Malloy, Research Associate Professor and Co-Director of the CBHRC.

The CBHRC is a collaboration between the IOD and the UNH Institute for Health Policy and Practice (IHPP), the Behavioral Health Improvement Institute (BHII) at Keene State College, and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.