Voices’ Blog

Governor’s School Safety Task Force Update

Posted:  -  By: Voices for VA's Kids

This afternoon, Gov. McDonnell released the letter he sent to the General Assembly with recommendations from his Task Force on School and Campus Safety. Among his list of priorities are three recommendations about mental health: expanding suicide prevention training programs, expanding children’s outpatient services at community services boards, and expanding training in Mental Health First Aid. You can read the Governor’s Letter to the General Assembly here, including all the workgroup recommendations.

The Task Force met for the second time yesterday, Jan. 31, to hear recommendations from each of the three workgroups – Public Safety, Education, and Mental Health. Many were adopted, while some needed further review.

The Mental Health Workgroup made five recommendations, ranked in order of priority:

  1. Expand suicide prevention awareness and training programs
  2. Expand children’s outpatient services, including child psychiatry, at community services boards
  3. Train more individuals in Mental Health First Aid
  4. Add to the number of CIT law enforcement drop off centers for adults
  5. Expand adult outpatient services, including psychiatry, at community services boards


The Public Safety Workgroup made a long list of recommendations, including increased sharing of juvenile records between the court and schools and colleges. The Education Workgroup also made several recommendations, including requiring lockdown drills in schools and funding anti-bullying trainings.

The Task Force will continue its work until June 30, and many of the issues will be considered between now and then.

Voices will continue to follow the activities of this Task Force and keep the public alerted. Opportunity for public comment to the Task Force still exists. To give public comment to the Mental Health Workgroup go here: http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/SchoolSafetyTF-MHWorkgroup.htm. To provide comments to the entire Task Force, go here: http://www.publicsafety.virginia.gov/SchoolSafetyTaskForce/.

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