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Committee hires consultant to look at behavioral health in ND

A Legislative committee has hired Schulte Consulting to look at acute psychiatric and residential care needs for behavioral health services in North Dakota.

Schulte did an earlier study of behavioral health needs – and that report was finished in 2014.

The report will be presented to the interim interim Acute Psychiatric Treatment Committee.

"I want to make sure they are comfortable, understanding the nature of the underserved areas of our state, and how that fits in to institutional settings," said the Committee chairman, Rep. Jon Nelson (R-Harvey). "Whether it should be one state hospital, or if the model should be changed to more of a regional focus."

Nelson said since that 2014 report, the state has made progress in helping provide these kinds of services around the state. He points to the Substance Use Disorder voucher program, passed in 2017.

"We passed a $7 million SUD voucher," Nelson said. "It was utilized the first year of the biennium. It was supposed to last the two years."

Nelson said that's how critical the need is. And he said the services were provided.

"We have some great service providers in the state," Nelson said. "But we know that we're just touching the tip of the iceberg, as far as what the actual need is."