Governor proposes new mental health funding

Issues executive order establishing task force on improving services

Marlene Jones | 12/10/2013, 3:50 p.m.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) will include funding for mental health services in his upcoming budget. He will also sign an ...

"As governor I will work with the General Assembly to build upon the solid foundation Gov. McDonnell laid today so that all Virginians can access the care and resources they need to live safe, healthy and productive lives here in the commonwealth,” said McAuliffe.

The governor’s budget provides the following funding for mental health efforts:

Mental Health Crisis Response Improvements

· Provide for Emergency Custody Order (ECO) extension – Negligible funding is needed to add an optional two hour extension that can be ordered by a magistrate only after clinical determination of need for TDO and only if a bed has not been found within the maximum ECO period to permit additional time to complete the bed search phase. Virginia’s current maximum ECO period is six hours.

· Provide for Temporary Detention Order (TDO) extension to 72 hours – $1,300,000 in FY 2015 and $1,600,000 in FY 2016 to provide for TDO extension that extends the TDO period from the current 48 hours to 72 hours (with a 24-hour minimum).

· Expand availability of secure crisis intervention team (CIT) assessment centers – $1,800,000 in FY 2015 and $3,600,000 in FY 2016 to allow a person to be held safely for evaluation and finding a bed without tying up law enforcement personnel. This funding would support six centers in FY2015 and 12 in FY2016.

· Maintain current adult capability at Eastern State Hospital (ESH) – $5,000,000 each year to maintain current adult capability at ESH. This will enable ESH to avoid a loss of bed capacity due to the reduction of Medicaid revenues related to the need to serve fewer geriatric patients.

· Expand adult bed capacity at ESH in FY 2015 – $2,200,000 each year to prevent loss of adult capacity by opening a vacant geriatric 20 bed unit to accommodate adult civil and forensic patients in the catchment area.

· Ensure operational supports for new Western State Hospital (WSH) facility – $670,000 in FY 2015 and $690,000 in FY 2016 to provide operational supports for the new WSH facility.

Behavioral Health Treatment and Support Services

· Expand mental health outpatient services – $3,500,000 in FY 2015 and $4,000,000 in FY 2016 for mental health services for older teens and young adults transitioning from school, college, or early in their adulthood when most serious mental illnesses first make their onset, and engagement in treatment is imperative. This item was recommended by the Governor’s Task Force on School and Campus Safety.

· Expand Program Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) programs – $950,000 in FY 2015 and $1,900,000 in FY 2016 to provide intensive clinical outreach and support to persons with serious and persistent mental illness to reduce crises and hospitalization. Virginia currently has 19 PACT programs.

· Expand telepsychiarty capacity – $1,100,000 in FY 2015 and $620,000 in FY 2016 for new telecommunication equipment to allow community services boards to conduct clinical evaluations offsite and more rapidly.

· Peer Support Recovery – $550,000 in FY 2015 and $1,000,000 in FY 2016 to provide support to people with behavioral health needs by people who are themselves in recovery from such problems and are trained as peer providers.