CONCORD, N.H. (AP) New Hampshire's Executive Council has approved a $4.4 million contract to fund the state's first 24-hour mental health treatment center.

The contract was awarded Wednesday to Riverbend Community Health in Concord. The center will provide short-term treatment to stabilize patients age 18 and older before connecting them with community mental health resources. It's expected to open by May.

The contract says the center will be available to those walking in, diverted from law enforcement, mobile response units, and hospitals. It also will help those with substance abuse disorder.

The contract comes as the state continues to struggle to find beds and providers to treat behavioral health patients who are boarded in hospital emergency departments.