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 ...

· Substance Abuse Community Recovery Program – $300,000 each year for the community recovery program which combats substance use disorders through employment and long-term recovery.

The Task Force’s responsibilities shall include the following:

· Recommend refinements and clarifications of protocols and procedures for community services boards, state hospital, law enforcements and receiving hospitals.

· Review for possible expansion of the programs and services that assure prompt response to individuals in mental health crises and their families such as emergency services teams, law enforcement crisis intervention teams (CIT), secure assessment centers, mobile crisis teams, crisis stabilization centers and mental health first aid.

· Examine possible extensions or adjustments to the emergency custody order and the temporary detention order period.

· Explore technological resources and capabilities, equipment, training and procedures to maximize the use of telepsychiatry.

· Examine the cooperation that exists between the courts, law enforcement and mental health systems in communities that have incorporated crisis intervention teams and cross systems mapping.

· Assess the availability of psychiatric beds in Virginia, the assessment process hospitals use to select which patients are appropriate for those beds, and to explore whether psychiatric bed registries and/or census management teams improve the process for locating beds.

· Review for possible expansion those services that will provide ongoing support for individuals with mental illness and reduce the frequency and intensity of mental health crises. These services may include rapid, consistent access to outpatient treatment and psychiatric services, as well as critical supportive services such as wrap-around stabilizing services, peer support services, programs of assertive community treatment, housing, employment and case management.

· Recommend legislative and budget proposals that will enable implementation of the above.

· Recommend how families and friends of a loved one facing a mental health crisis can be taught to improve the environment and safety of an individual in crisis.

· Examine workforce development activities and recommend any improvements to ensure an adequate mental health workforce.