Survey Publishes Fourth Year of Mental Health Data
A new research report from the IOD, commissioned by the New Hampshire Bureau of Behavioral Health, documents some of the strengths of NH’s community mental health service system and identifies multiple critical issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure timely access to high-quality care. The report, “New Hampshire Public Mental Health Consumer Survey Project, Summary of Findings 2012,” provides the fourth year of data based on consumer ratings of NH’s 10 regional community mental health centers (CMHCs).
The random survey of adults, youth, and family members of consumers of the state’s CMHCs assessed general satisfaction levels with services, access to services, participation in treatment, quality of treatment received, cultural sensitivity, and treatment outcomes. Results from the survey highlight both positive areas of effective supports as well as areas of concern:
- Despite repeated CMHC budget cuts, general satisfaction and quality of services ratings have remained fairly high.
- Families reported significant positive change across the state regarding child outcomes.
- Close to one half of new consumers in the past year reported that they waited a month or more for an appointment with a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner.
- One in three adults with substance use concerns did not agree that substance use issues were addressed in their treatment plans, that they received treatment from their CMHC, or that staff offered them referrals.
- Only two-thirds of consumers felt they were active participants in their quarterly reviews.
“The ongoing financial challenges of the mental health system raise important questions about the long-term impact on consumers’ abilities to access high quality care and maintain a successful recovery,” said Peter Antal, IOD researcher and author of the report. “As our State continues to grapple with tightening mental health care budgets and reduced capacities, we can’t lose sight of the fact that the long term costs of some of these changes may be higher than any short term savings.”
To download a copy of the report, visit www.iod.unh.edu/pmhs.