Voices’ Blog

Campaign Testifies in Senate Finance Subcommittee

Posted:  -  By: Voices for VA's Kids

On January 13, Voices’ executive director Margaret Nimmo Crowe and Campaign volunteer and parent advocate Cristy Gallagher testified before the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Health and Human Resources on the need for more funding for children’s mental health services. Specifically, they were asked to comment on the Governor’s proposed budget items dealing with mental health.

Margaret testified that the Campaign supports the new funding to provide services to older teens and young adults with mental illness and believes that funding ought to be used to support evidence-based and evidence-informed services and supports. She also noted, however, that the proposed budget contains no other new funding for the child mental health system, and access to treatment remains a significant problem. The Campaign is recommending that additional funding be allocated to strengthening the crisis response programs begun in the last two years. You can read Margaret’s testimony here.

Cristy shared her family’s experiences in the child mental health system and the need for a comprehensive array of services. She testified that many families are not as fortunate as her own in their ability to find and pay for necessary treatment. She urged the senators to remember her family and the thousands like it in Virginia when making decisions about Virginia’s next budget. You can read Cristy’s testimony here.

Campaign steering committee members NAMI Virginia and the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards also provided testimony about their reactions to the Governor’s budget and the needs of Virginia’s mental health system. Their testimony and other presentations from the meeting can be found on the Senate Finance website.

Many thanks to Cristy for traveling from Fairfax to share her experience with our legislators!

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