- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A new 10-bed mental health crisis unit is open at New Hampshire Hospital after almost a year of delays.

The unit opened Tuesday in Concord and will admit people over age 18 for stays of three days or less. One goal is to reduce pressure on emergency rooms that are often left caring for patients when beds aren’t available at the New Hampshire Hospital, the only state-run psychiatric hospital. On Tuesday, 23 people were on the hospital’s waiting list.

The crisis unit was supposed to open last fall, but faced hiring delays from Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan’s budget veto and a shortage of health care workers.

The state had been working to improve its mental health services since settling a federal lawsuit over inadequate care in late 2013.

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