Getting your loved one help in Virginia: In a psychiatric emergency, the more you know about your state’s laws and treatment options, the better prepared you will be to respond in the most effective way possible. These resources will help:

Estimated Prevalence of Severe Mental Illness in Virginia (2015)

  • Total adult population: 6.5 million
  • Individuals with schizophrenia: ~ 71,000
  • Individuals with severe bipolar disorder: ~ 142,000

(SOURCE: NIMH and US BUREAU OF THE CENSUS, 2015)

Mandatory Treatment Laws in Virginia

Like every state, Virginia has civil commitment laws that establish criteria for determining when involuntary treatment is appropriate for individuals with severe mental illness who cannot seek care voluntarily. Virginia’s laws allow for the use of court-ordered treatment in the community, known as assisted outpatient treatment (AOT).

For inpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • be an imminent danger to self/others;
  • be so seriously mentally ill as to be substantially unable to care for self;
  • be substantially likely to “suffer serious harm due to substantial deterioration of his capacity to protect himself from harm or to provide for his basic human needs as evidenced by current circumstances.”

For outpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • meet the inpatient criteria, and
  • be competent to understand the stipulations of treatment
  • want to live in community, and
    • agree to abide by treatment plan
    • reside where ordered treatment can be delivered on outpatient basis, and
    • can be monitored by community services board or designated providers.
QUALITY OF VIRGINIA LAWS
Emergency Evaluation  A+ Find relevant statute here
Outpatient Commitment  D Find relevant statute here
Inpatient Commitment  D Find relevant statute here

(SOURCE: MENTAL HEALTH COMMITMENT LAWS: A SURVEY OF THE STATES, Treatment Advocacy Center, 2014)

Public Psychiatric Beds in Virginia

A minimum of 50 beds per 100,000 people is considered necessary to provide minimally adequate treatment for individuals with severe mental illness. Like every state, Virginia fails to meet this minimum standard.

Beds in 2016 Beds in 2010 Beds lost or gained Beds per 100,000 people Census of forensic patients % of all beds occupied forensic State ranking in beds per capita
1,526 1,407 119 18.2 356 23.3 49

(SOURCE: GOING, GOING, GONE: TRENDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF ELMINATING STATE PSYCHIATRIC BEDS, Treatment Advocacy Center, 2016)

Criminalization of Mental Illness in Virginia

Like every state in the nation, Virginia incarcerates more individuals with severe mental illness than it hospitalizes.

Total inmate population 2005 Estimated population of SMI inmates Total psychiatric inpatient population 2004 Likelihood of incarceration vs. hospitalization
57,444 9,191 2,548 3.6 to 1

(SOURCE: MORE MENTALLY ILL PERSONS ARE IN JAILS AND PRISONS THAN HOSPITALS: A Survey of the States, Treatment Advocacy Center, 2010)

Criminal Diversion in Virginia

Criminal justice officials are responding to the criminalization of individuals with innovative programs designed to divert individuals with severe mental illness away from the criminal justice system. Two of the most promising programs are: mental health courts and crisis intervention training (CIT).

Percentage of population served by a mental health court Percentage of population served by CIT Combined average Grade
6% 70% 38% C

(SOURCE: PREVALENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH DIVERSION PRACTICES: A SURVEY OF THE STATES, Treatment Advocacy Center, 2013)

Policy Recommendations

  • Stop eliminating public psychiatric beds
  • Restore a sufficient number of beds to create access to inpatient care for qualifying individuals in crisis
  • Make active use of the state’s civil commitment laws to provide more timely treatment to individuals in need of treatment for symptoms of psychiatric crisis and reduce the consequences of non-treatment on them, their families and their communities

Additional Virginia Resources

_____________________________________________________________________________

21st Century Cures Act Becomes Law

After more than three years of advocating on behalf of mental health reform at the local, state and federal level, our hard-fought battle is over. Mental health reform is finally a reality.

The Senate passed H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act, with a 94-5 vote on Dec. 7. This landmark victory came after the House passed the same bill 392-26 on Nov. 30.

“This is a new era of healthcare, and the next generation of hope for Americans that really transcends boundaries,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), author of H.R. 2646. “To all the families who brought their stories out of the shadows, today is a day of joy.”

The mental health benefits of H.R. 34 span far and wide. The bill incorporates measures and funding to help Americans with mental illness get the care they need.

H.R. 34 includes provisions from the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016 (H.R. 2646) and from S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. It also contains language from S. 2002, the Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015 and from S. 993, the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, promoting de-escalation training and diverting people with mental illness to treatment instead of incarceration.

“I’d seen up close the heartbreak and frustration that families suffered trying to find care for a loved one – care that seemed impossible to find and even harder to pay for. That’s why I worked with Republicans and Democrats on the Mental Health Reform Act,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), co-author of the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.

“Without appropriate treatment options, prisons, jails and emergency rooms become the de facto mental health care facility,” said Murphy’s co-author Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). “The 21st Century Cures Act provides incentives to build an adequate and skilled mental health workforce to expand access to mental health care providing quick and effective diagnosis and treatment.”

The Cures bill mirrors several of NAMI’s top priorities, including:

  • Raising the stature of mental health and substance use disorder services at the federal level by creating an Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use.
  • Authorizing grants for CIT programs and de-escalation training for law enforcement and other first responders.
  • Clarifying that the federal Medicaid statute permits same-day billing for the provision of mental health and primary care services.
  • Requiring new federal guidance on compliance with mental health and substance use disorder parity requirements.

NAMI compiled an analysis of the mental health provisions in H.R. 34.

This legislation will help promote a patient-centered mental health care system in America. Now we are one step closer to NAMI’s vision of an America where fewer people with mental illness end up on the streets, out of school or in jail.

This victory is because of the power of our members’ voices, joined with thousands of others, that form the mental health movement. The battle is won, but the fight is not over. As President Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act into law, we must ask ourselves, “How do we ensure these mental health services and supports are implemented in 2017?”

As we celebrate, we look to the future. As Rep. Murphy said, we’re entering a new era of healthcare in America. NAMI is dedicated to making it the era of quality mental health.

Article From by NAMI

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/About-NAMI/NAMI-News/We-Did-It-Mental-Health-Reform-Is-Headed-to-the-P#sthash.tReg5tYa.dpuf

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.