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NH Delegation Welcomes Nearly $1 Million Federal Grant for Concord School District to Strengthen Mental Health Care

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced with U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas that the Concord School District will receive $951,635 to support school and family mental health services. This grant builds on the Concord School District’s collaboration with Riverbend Community Mental Health Center. The district will serve as a hub for school-based mental health services, family behavioral health education, and timely facilitated referrals for external clinical care through New Hampshire’s system of care model. 

“I’ve heard from students and parents across New Hampshire who have told me how desperately they need more mental health care support in schools,” said Senator Hassan. “The way we address the youth mental health crisis is to continue to dismantle harmful stigmas and invest in our mental health infrastructure. I am glad to announce this significant grant that will help the social and emotional well-being of students in Concord. I will continue working to secure mental health funding for young people so that they do not feel helpless or alone when facing mental health challenges.”

“Each year, millions of children report struggling with their mental health, yet comprehensive action to address this problem has been slow. We must do more to support children who are experiencing a mental illness or serious emotional issues,” said Senator Shaheen. “This federal grant will help expand access to mental health services in the Concord School District and close the accessibility gap for treatment and other resources.” 

“For children who struggle with serious emotional disturbances, it can be a challenge to access the care they need to recover and just be kids,” said Congresswoman Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “I’m glad to see these resources heading to the Concord School District to expand access to comprehensive mental health services for our students and their families and help them thrive in their daily lives.”

“As we continue working to combat a mental health crisis, it’s critical that students have access to mental health services,” said Congressman Pappas. “This funding will deliver much needed resources to schools and organizations and advance their efforts to support the mental health needs of New Hampshire kids. I’ll keep working to secure resources to help our schools and communities support all those they serve.”

“This award will provide crucial resources to expand our partnership with Riverbend to serve our students and their families,” said Superintendent of the Concord School District Kathleen Murphy. “It is an opportunity for the Concord community to systematically refine its approach to youth mental health and wellness with the schools as a key player in care coordination. In true system-of-care values, we look forward to working with community partners, youth themselves, and their families to advance trauma-informed and culturally competent practices in youth mental health.” 

Senator Hassan is working to strengthen mental health care treatment for Granite Staters. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, of which Senators Hassan and Shaheen were key supporters, provided New Hampshire with more than $1.3 million dollars for mental health programs, including to support teens in rural communities and reduce youth suicide. The President signed into law a bipartisan bill from Senator Hassan and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) to strengthen mental health resources for young people and help prevent youth suicide. In addition, Senator Hassan helped establish and secure funding for the 9-8-8 suicide prevention hotline.