ACLU committed to finding the solutions to reform mental health system

The ACLU of Virginia released on Monday principles addressing mental health reform legislation. The principles are intended to guide legislators in balancing the need for reform with the civil rights of all Virginians. The organization is committed to working with legislators to pass laws that will result in solutions to the issues plaguing the Commonwealth’s mental health system, while remaining vigilant in protecting the rights of people affected by the process.

virginia-blue-oversize“We join Senator Creigh Deeds and others in recognizing that Virginia must do better when it comes to serving people and families in crisis,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director, Claire Guthrie Gastañaga. “We also know that we can make positive changes that do not compromise the basic civil liberties of any Virginian,” she continued.

Gastañaga stressed that “individuals must not be treated as criminals simply because Virginia is not providing adequate funding for mental health facilities and transportation.” “We are encouraged by our legislators’ determination to do the right thing for Virginians with mental disabilities and their families and doing it the right way. We look forward to joining them in this process,” She concluded.

The complete list of principles can be found at

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