Tag: mental health

mark obenshain

Mark Obenshain: Ethics and mental health reform

I want to talk about some of the other work of the General Assembly, most notably in the areas of ethics reform and mental health. Both issues became much more pressing due to the events of 2013; sadly, while we would ideally tackle such issues anticipatorily, it sometimes takes a demonstration of the problem to spur the General Assembly into action.

Creigh Deeds: Look back at the 2014 General Assembly session

The 2014 Session of the General Assembly is over; we adjourned on Saturday. However, the main work, the budget, remains to be accomplished. The General Assembly will go back into session on the 24th of March to try to finalize a spending plan for the next biennium.

virginia general assembly

ACLU: General Assembly session mixed on civil liberties

The 2014 session of the Virginia General Assembly left the ACLU of Virginia and its 10,000 members and supporters with little reason to cheer and significant reason to worry about the state of civil liberties in the Commonwealth when the General Assembly adjourns sine die. “

Creigh Deeds: Reflecting on the 2014 General Assembly session

Every year as the General Assembly session winds down, it’s important to take some time to reflect on the things that have been accomplished, the things yet to accomplish, and perhaps the missed opportunities. With less than a week left before the scheduled adjournment of the 2014 session, a couple of things are clear.

Creigh Deeds: General Assembly session coming to a close

The 2014 session of the General Assembly is rapidly moving toward the scheduled adjournment on March 8. Both houses passed competing budgets this past week and bills are headed to conference.

Ken Plum: Crossover

Last week the General Assembly reached the midpoint of its annual session, or crossover as it is called in the legislature. At this time in the calendar, the House of Delegates and the Senate have completed work on the bills that were introduced into the respective houses.

Creigh Deeds: Medicaid expansion

As explained in this space before, Medicaid expansion is an optional part of the Affordable Care Act. Payment for expansion, however, is not optional. Funding comes from federal taxes.

kirk cox

Kirk Cox: House priorities fare well at crossover

Tuesday was crossover day at the General Assembly – the halfway point of the 2014 Session. At this point the House has passed 944 pieces of legislation; the Senate passed 696. After crossover, each house in the General Assembly may only consider bills that originated in the other house.

Virginia Senate passes mental health reforms

Monday afternoon, the State Senate voted to pass SB 260, a mental health reform bill introduced by Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County) and co-patroned by senators from both parties.

Creigh Deeds: Nearing crossover

The 2014 session rolls on, and we are nearing crossover. Crossover is the time when the Senate must complete work on bills introduced in the Senate, and the House must complete work on bills introduced in the House. It’s called the crossover because after it occurs, the bills cross over to the other house for consideration.

augusta health

Augusta Health Community Benefit Committee awards single year grants

The Community Benefit Committee of the Augusta Health Board of Directors has awarded nine single year grants to community organizations to meet the healthcare needs of the community.

Creigh Deeds: Mental health reform must be a priority

For the past several years, I have been forced to deal with the state’s system of mental health on behalf of my son. In November a lot of issues related to that system were thrust in my face.

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.


Poll: Majority of Virginians believe better mental health services would prevent gun violence

A new Commonwealth Poll from Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs indicates that a large majority of Virginians believes better mental health services would help in the prevention of gun violence.

virginia general assembly

Sen. Janet Howell: Democratic response to State of the Commonwealth

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) delivered the Democratic rebuttal to Gov. McDonnell’s final state of the commonwealth address. She highlighted areas where Democrats and Gov. McDonnell worked together, and new opportunities for the future.

Ken Plum: Broken promises on mental health reform

Last month the disAbility Law Center (dLCV) issued a report on the condition of mental health services in Virginia. It is an eye-opening report: Broken Promises, the Failure of Mental Health Services in Virginia.

bob mcdonnell

McDonnell announces task force on mental health services

Gov. Bob McDonnell today announced the membership for the newly-created Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response. The membership includes leaders in the mental health field, law enforcement communities, the judicial system, private hospitals, and individuals receiving mental health services and their families.

Jennifer McClellan: General Assembly session preview

Last month, Gov. Bob McDonnell unveiled his two-year budget for Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016. The governor presented the budgets in a speech to the Joint Money Committees of the General Assembly.

McDonnell releases report on Creigh Deeds tragedy

Gov. Bob McDonnell has released recommendations stemming from Health and Human Resource Secretary Bill Hazel’s review of last month’s tragedy in Bath County involving State Sen. Creigh Deeds and his son, Gus. The governor asked the secretary to conduct the review.

Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe applauds McDonnell’s mental health initiatives

Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today applauding Gov. Bob McDonnell’s announcement that he will include funding for mental health services in his upcoming budget, and that he will sign an executive order forming a Mental Health Task Force to make further recommendations for reforms.

bob mcdonnell

McDonnell announces new funding for mental health system

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced budget proposals today to expand crisis response and crisis prevention services for Virginia’s behavioral health system. The governor’s proposals would infuse $38.3 million over the biennium into critical mental health and substance-use disorder programs.

Ken Plum: Mental health needs going unmet

We are not doing enough to respond to the mental health needs of the Commonwealth. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the per capita spending for mental health programs in FY 2009 was $122.90. For Virginia it was $93.81. Too many of our mental health needs are going unmet.

Update: Creigh Deeds stabbed multiple times in attack at his home

State Sen. Creigh Deeds was stabbed multiple times on his upper torso and head in an attack at his home in Millboro in Bath County Tuesday morning. His son, Gus, 24, also of Millboro, is dead of injuries from a gunshot wound in the same incident.

white house

Q&A with White House Press Secretary on Affordable Care Act

We found this interesting back-and-forth between White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and reporters at today’s press briefing on the Affordable Care Act worth sharing.

tim kaine

Kaine submits comments on Medicaid expansion in Virginia

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine submitted the following comments to Virginia’s Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission in response to its request for public input on the decision of whether or not to expand Medicaid in Virginia.

Churches hearing, holding and hoping amid mental health challenges

We tend to see mental illness as something that happens out there, to stigmatized strangers on the fringe of our churches, when in fact mental health issues affect our families, friends, loved ones, congregants, and many of us personally. In short, mental illness is experienced by everyone in church communities – by “us” and our loved ones, not just by “them.”

Michael Ragland: ‘Recovery Model’ of mental health and state funding

Relatively recent “recovery principles” in mental health stems around the motto self determination, recovery, and empowerment. The genesis of this was the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (2003). Despite the fact the Virginia DMHMRSAS mission (now rechristened the Virginia Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services) statement is, “Our vision is of a “consumer-driven […]

Another side of Paul Hatcher

Legendary R.E. Lee basketball coach Paul Hatcher rocked the local sports world on Monday with the news that he is retiring after 43 seasons and 897 wins. There’s already been plenty written by the sportswriters lauding Hatcher’s on-the-court accomplishments. I’ll share with you a different story with a small bit of insight into Hatcher off […]

The price of inconsistency

  Column by David Cox Columns, letters: freepress2@ntelos.net One week ago, Western State Hospital in Staunton broke ground for a brand-new facility. Gov. Kaine was there – and much emphasis was placed on the importance of mental-health facilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia…even as a cloud hangs over the whole enterprise. If you’ve not been […]