CONCORD, N.H. — Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday called for additional beds at the state psychiatric hospital as part of a larger effort to re-engineer New Hampshire’s mental health system.

Sununu spoke to reporters after touring the emergency department at Concord Hospital, which is frequently full of patients waiting to be admitted to New Hampshire Hospital for inpatient psychiatric care. On the busiest day, in February, 22 psychiatric patients were waiting for beds in a space designed for six.

“When you have this kind of logjam, when you let it get to this kind of crisis, it’s one of those things where if you don’t pay for it in the beginning, you’re going to pay five times as much down the road,” he said.

The state had been working to improve its mental health services since settling a federal lawsuit over inadequate care in late 2013. In July, a new 10-bed crisis unit opened at New Hampshire after almost a year of delays, but emergency rooms around the state still are often left caring for patients waiting for those beds.

Sununu said he’s been working with lawmakers on a proposal that will be released next week to increase capacity at New Hampshire Hospital.

Correction: This story was updated at 8:07 a.m. on April 22 to correct the spelling of Gov. Sununu’s name in the headline.

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