NH DHHS - Community Mental Health Centers Step Up for Veterans

Concord, NH - In honor of Veterans Day, as New Hampshire celebrates the men

and women who have served our country, the State’s Community Mental Health

Centers (CMHCs), in partnership with the NH Department of Health and Human

Services (DHHS), are sharing their commitment to New Hampshire’s veterans,

service members and their families with new initiatives and partnerships to

better serve this population.

Earlier this fall, each of the 10 CMHCs embedded at least one military

liaison within their agency under a first-of-its-kind initiative launched

by DHHS and in partnership with NHCarePath. The goal of the CMHC Military

Liaison Initiative (MLI) is to improve access to and quality of care for

veterans, service members, and their families by identifying military

members being served, promoting military culture and competence, and

partnering with civilian-military providers.

“The leadership and spirit of collaboration from Community Mental Health

Centers has been incredible,” said Jo Moncher, Bureau Chief of Military

Programs for DHHS. “They are developing partnerships with the Veterans

Administration, building military culture competence within their agencies,

and coming to this initiative with a sincere interest and passion for

serving this population.”

Only 28,000 New Hampshire veterans, out of 115,000 across the State,

receive care at VA Medical Centers, for many different reasons. The CMHC

MLI is one of several new DHHS initiatives in place to help improve access

to care for New Hampshire’s military by opening up more access points –

while coordinating services and client referrals with the VA and other

military-civilian provider agencies.

Each CMHC has at least one military liaison working 10 hours per month. A

statewide liaison, working out of the Riverbend Community Mental Health

Center in Concord, provides coordination to the effort and support to all

liaisons. Each CMHC is participating in military culture training in

recognition of the need to increase military culture awareness and

competence throughout the organization.

CMHCs are also developing their own programs to strengthen this effort. The

Center for Life Management in Derry secured funds for a flag and flagpole

and will be hosting a dedication ceremony on Monday, November 23rd.

Riverbend has developed a newsletter, Riverbend Reveille, using the theme

of waking up military at sunrise and inviting agency staff to “rise to the

cause.” Monadnock Family Services in Keene is coordinating a staff and

community event to bring community partners together.

Northern Human Services covers 40% of New Hampshire and is working with

DHHS to develop ideas and funding sources to strengthen outreach efforts to

better reach rural veterans, service members and their families. The Mental

Health Center of Greater Manchester is the first CMHC in the State that

will be accepting both Tricare and the Veterans Choice Card, which will

improve access to care for veterans, service members and their families.

The Greater Nashua Mental Health Center and Genesis Behavioral Health in

Laconia provide leadership and coordination to serve justice involved

veterans through Veterans Tracks and Veteran Dockets across the State.

The Seacoast Mental Health Center has already sent 28 of their staff to

participate in military culture training in Portsmouth. Community Partners

in Dover has scheduled military culture training at Frisbie Memorial

Hospital on Friday, November 13. Military Culture Training is provided

through a DHHS contract with Dare Mighty Things, a Portsmouth-based

organization with a strong background in providing military culture

trainings to veterans, service members and their families across the

Country. The majority of agencies have already attended or scheduled

military culture trainings in their area.

“This initiative is a significant step forward to improving access to and

quality of care for our military,” said Suellen Griffin, President and CEO

of West Central Behavioral Health and Chair of the NH Community Behavioral

Health Association. “There are many things that civilian agencies can do to

serve our military, and our association is honored and pleased to be a part

of this campaign.”

For more information on the military culture trainings schedule, visit