Boost for Safe Station from $333K grant for addiction, mental health services

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CONCORD, NH – Safe Station in Manchester and Nashua will be two of the beneficiaries of a $333,000 federal grant to enhance and expand addiction and mental health services all across the state.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced the award, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), aimed at  increased funding for critical components of the State’s response to the opioid epidemic.

The money will allow the state to further its goal of expanding access to treatment services, provide enhanced supports for people in recovery and provide wraparound services. DHHS will direct the funds to enhance the nationally-recognized Safe Stations programs in Manchester and Nashua and expand statewide Regional Access Points services (RAPs).

“This funding will help to support New Hampshire’s ground breaking work to combat the opioid crisis,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “We were one of the first states into this crisis, but I have no doubt that we will be the first state out of it.”

“We are grateful to SAMHSA for this award, which will fund programs that help people misusing opioids and other substances get the supports and services they need,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers. “In the throes of the worst public health epidemic facing New Hampshire, the State has acted to expand capacity and increase access to treatment and recovery services. This funding will allow us to expand programs that have successfully helped many people begin the road to recovery.”

The Safe Station model is a community based initiative  born out of a collaborative effort between local fire departments, treatment providers, and community partners working to address the opioid crisis. The programs are an entry point providing access to substance use screening, clinical evaluation, rapid referral to services, and interim care and stabilization, in Manchester and Nashua, NH’s two largest cities, and the two highest need communities in the highest risk county in the state.

The Statewide RAPs program has established clinical relationships with providers in each region of the state, ensuring that people can get the services they need in their own communities. The department expects the funding will allow RAPs programs to enter into formal evaluation and treatment agreements with 40 additional providers. By expanding RAPs services and operations statewide, individuals will be less likely to need to travel outside of their region to access care and resources can be more efficiently utilized in local communities. There are 13 RAPs programs across the state and RAPs in high need areas are expected to be able to expand their hours. RAPs expansion will also help people get into treatment more quickly and reduce waitlists for treatment.

New Hampshire was one of 10 states eligible to apply for up to $333,000 of supplemental funding from SAMHSA’s State Targeted Response (STR) to the Opioid Crisis, a component of the CURES Act. The new grant is in addition to SAMHSA’s original award of $3.1 million per year for the next two years for targeted substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery services in the State.