In 2020, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded a $2 million grant to New Hampshire, which led to the formation of a new statewide community mental health center (CMHC) program. Created in response to the pandemic, this program—NH Rapid Response—has enabled staff at Chase Home to receive additional support from Seacoast Mental Health Center, Inc. (SMHC).
“Our staff have been under extraordinary pressure in the past year,” remarked Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler. “It’s important we provide our staff with additional support during these still difficult times.” Support through this program includes crisis intervention services, mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, and other related recovery supports for un and under insured individuals as well as healthcare and first responder organization workers.
According to Lianna Nawn, MSW, SMHC Emergency Services clinician, people on the front lines and direct care personnel often suffer from compassion fatigue, burnout and chronic stress, especially in light of the pandemic. “We’ve seen an increase of depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief across all populations — no one is immune,” she said. “This program allows us to directly help support these critically important workers, either in crisis and for ongoing care, while they continue to serve the community. This, in turn, supports our greater community as a whole, which is an important component of SMHC’s mission.”
Founded in 1963 to address the mental health care needs of the New Hampshire Seacoast, SMHC provides “a broad, comprehensive array of high quality, effective and accessible mental health services to residents of the eastern half of Rockingham County.”
Noting staff have already begun to take advantage of SMHC’s services, Wheeler expressed appreciation for the support. “We are very grateful for NH Rapid Response and assistance offered by Seacoast Mental Health Center,” she said. “This investment in our staff is really an investment in our kids and the community.”
Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth serves at-risk youth annually through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.
For more information about SMHC, call 603-431-6703 or 603-772-2710, or click here.