(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced $119,297 in federal grants to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of New Hampshire from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The grant will fund crisis intervention training for New Hampshire’s first responders.
“Supporting Granite Staters who are struggling with mental illness is vital, and that must include intervention for those in the most vulnerable situations,” said Shaheen. “This grant will fund training for New Hampshire’s first responders so they are better prepared to respond and assist individuals suffering from a mental health crisis. Our first responders are saving lives throughout our state every day, and I will continue working across the aisle to ensure they have the federal funding necessary to support our state’s efforts to help individuals with mental illness.
“Our brave first responders play a crucial role in crisis intervention with individuals who are struggling with mental or behavioral health challenges, and we must ensure that they have the support necessary to protect themselves and to continue to do their jobs as effectively as possible,” said Hassan. “Crisis intervention training will help first responders better protect their own health and well-being, as well as that of members of the public battling addiction or mental illness, including as a result of the deadly fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic.”
“I am pleased that the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) New Hampshire will be receiving a federal grant to provide mental health crisis training to first responders in our state,” said Shea-Porter. “Our first responders serve on the front lines, and they are routinely sent to manage difficult situations that require special skills and the proper understanding of best practices. The important training programs run by NAMI New Hampshire help our communities help those who are impacted by mental illness to be treated with understanding and dignity.”
“People experiencing a mental health crisis need care, compassion, and understanding,” said Kuster. “This funding will support New Hampshire’s first responder crisis intervention training on how to safely interact with individuals experiencing a mental health emergency. This type of training will improve safety for both individuals suffering from a mental health emergency and Granite State first responders.”
“Law enforcement and Fire/Emergency Medical Services are often the front line in responding to individual’s in a mental health crisis,” said Ken Norton, Executive Director of NAMI New Hampshire. “Due to their frequent exposure to traumatic situations, first responders are themselves at higher risk for PTSD, depression and suicide than the general population. NAMI NH, The National Alliance on Mental Illness, is very excited to partner with the NH Department of Safety, NH State Police and NH Fire Academy and Emergency Medical Services in bringing Mental Health First Aid training and Crisis Intervention Team training to our first responders with a goal of improving their response to people in a mental health crisis as well as promoting mental wellness among first responders.”