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State settles $24.5M lawsuit to force help for mentally ill

The state has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit that was brought to force improvements in the treatment of mentally ill residents, New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster announced Wednesday evening.

The settlement will mean improvements on top of $24.5 million in new programs and services signed into law by Gov. Maggie Hassan earlier this year. The settlment requires expanded employment and housing opportunities for the mentally ill, 24-hour community treatment teams and treatment settings for people undertaking suicidal or violent actions.

Hassan must find another $6 million in the current two-year budget, and the state must pay $2.4 million to the lawyers who brought the suit.

In a statement, Hassan said mental health care is one of the most pressing needs in the state, and she will work with legislative leaders to identify resources to meet the terms of the judgment.mhayward@unionleader.com


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