Community Mental Health Settlement Agreement

Governor Maggie Hassan signs CMHA at a large desk surrounded by advocates.

Community Mental Health Settlement Agreement

The Community Mental Health Agreement (CMHA) is a landmark settlement agreement to help people diagnosed with serious mental illness live successfully in the community rather than institutions. 

In 2014, following litigation by our office, the Community Mental Health Agreement (CMHA) was created to help people diagnosed with serious mental illness to live successfully in the community rather than institutions. According to the CMHA, the state of New Hampshire must provide community-based services and supports to people who would otherwise be unnecessarily institutionalized at New Hampshire Hospital or Glencliff Nursing Home.

These community-based resources include mobile crisis teams and crisis apartments, assertive community treatment (ACT), permanent supported housing (e.g., the Bridge Housing Subsidy), supported employment, and peer and family supports.  For nearly a decade, compliance with the CMHA has been monitored by an Expert Reviewer, who summarizes his findings in semi-annual reports.

The Seventeenth Expert Reviewer Report was issued on October 3, 2023 

Past Expert Reviewer Reports are available below.

Modifying the CMHA

In November, 2021, we, along with our co-counsel and the United States Department of Justice, sent the State a notice outlining provisions of the CMHA with which it was out of compliance, specifically those provisions related to transitional services and community residences for class members who live at Glencliff Home (Glencliff).

We worked with the State of New Hampshire to resolve the issues raised in our notice. The result of this work is a modified agreement that includes several provisions intended to enable Glencliff residents to transition to community-based living arrangements.

For example, the modified agreement requires the State to issue a “Request for Proposals” to create long-term residential options for at least eighteen individuals transitioning from or awaiting admission to Glencliff. We are happy to report that the State has completed this Request for Proposals process and entered into a contract with a vendor to create community-based options for twenty individuals. The modified agreement also caps the Glencliff census at seventy-five residents for the duration of the CMHA. The Court approved the modification on March 29, 2023.

Download the modified CMHA here

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