Tag Archive: mental health

  1. 2015 General Assembly Wrap UP

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    The 2015 Virginia General Assembly short session adjourned on February 27th. This year, the Campaign for Children’s Mental Health once again advocated for a stronger mental health system for children and the Legislator took steps to move Virginia closer to that goal through policy change and increased funding for children’s mental health services.

    During the 2015 session, we were proud to partner with NAMI Virginia, VOCAL and Mental Health of America-VA to host a mental health advocacy day at the capitol. Parents, youth, mental health clinicians and advocates from across the state met with legislators at the General Assembly Building, making a case for a stronger mental health system for kids in Virginia.  Specifically, we advocated for increased funding to build on the system of community-based crisis response services and child psychiatry that we successfully advocated for the last three sessions.

    The General Assembly-approved budget includes an additional $2 million general funds in FY16 for these services. That is in addition to the $500,000 increase for this line item already in the budget for FY16. The total line item for FY16 will be $6.65 million ongoing funding for these services–a 60% increase.  This amount has increased each of the last four fiscal years, when we first advocated for its addition to the budget.

    We are excited about this increase in funding because funds are currently being used to provide faster access to psychiatrists in person and through telepsychiatry, as well as to provide mobile crisis teams and residential and day crisis stabilization services and additional funding will allow for more children to be served in all five health planning regions of the state.

    We are also pleased that the final budget included an additional $281,894  to fund a few additional direct care positions at the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents (CCCA).  The CCCA, the only public inpatient psychiatric hospital for children in Virginia, saw a dramatic increase in 2014 admissions as a result of recent mental health reforms.

    Legislative Changes 

    Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization of Minors: Changes to section of code dealing with “Objecting Minors” (youth 14-17)

    HB 1717 and SB 773: PASSED: These identical pieces of legislation amend criteria for admitting an objecting minor, 14 years of age or older, for psychiatric treatment so it matches the protocols for a nonobjecting minor. In addition these bills establish standards regarding procedures for how a parent can request continued treatment of the minor when a minor 14 years or older objects to treatment after initially volunteering.

    SB 779: PASSED: This piece of legislation increases the time period in which a minor 14 years of age or older who objects to inpatient treatment or cannot make an informed decision can be admitted to a willing mental health facility from 96 to 120 hours. This bill also requires facilities to immediately notify the parent(s) of a minor who objects to further treatment after initially volunteering for treatment and provide them with procedures on how to request continued treatment of the minor.

     

     

  2. Next steps in Charlottesville?

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    Voices for Virginia’s Children is pleased to update the Charlottesville community and others with the notes from the Community Conversation about Children’s Mental Health we hosted in December, as well as outline next steps. You can read the full recap here.

    Strengths that were mentioned included the relative wealth of resources in the Charlottesville area compared to other areas of the state, particularly rural areas. Strong nonprofits, a CSB that provides an array of children’s services, and collaboration among organizations were cited as strengths. Participants also appreciated that there are organizations in Charlottesville focused on the entire spectrum of interventions, from prevention and early intervention for families through treatment for children with diagnosed mental health disorders.

    Even as well-resourced as Charlottesville is, however, every aspect of the continuum has inadequate capacity to meet the need. Challenges fell into several main categories:
    – not enough focus on prevention and early intervention;
    – a variety of barriers to existing services;
    – gaps in services—things that are needed but don’t exist, or which exist but have inadequate capacity to meet the need; and
    – a need for citizen advocacy to move the needle on state level policy, according to Sen. Deeds.

    So, what do we do next? Voices and the Campaign are very interested in helping regional partners in Charlottesville form a coalition on children’s mental health so that the community can move forward on some of the suggestions made at the Community Conversation. Is your organization willing to be involved? Please email Campaign Coordinator Ashley Everette at ashley@vakids.org.

  3. Take Action for more funding!

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    In the 2015 General Assembly session, the Campaign for Children’s Mental Health is once again at the forefront, advocating for a stronger mental health system for children. Our priority this year continues to be building on the system of community-based crisis response services and child psychiatry. We have successfully advocated for funding the last three sessions to start and enhance these services in all five health planning regions of the state. Funds are being used to provide faster access to psychiatrists in person and through telepsychiatry, as well as to provide mobile crisis teams and residential and day crisis stabilization services.

    Where services exist, they are making a huge difference. The problem is that the $4.15 million currently available in the budget for this purpose are inadequate to meet the need. The funds are supposed to increase to $4.65 million in FY16 — an improvement — but still a small amount of funding to reach kids in every corner of the Commonwealth who have serious mental health challenges.

    This year, Senators Hanger and Howell and Delegate Yost have introduced budget amendments to enhance the services statewide by $2.5 million in FY16. We need all advocates for children’s mental health to reach out to their legislators and ask them to support these amendments: Item 308 #1s and #8s in the Senate, and Item 308 #6h in the House.

    TAKE ACTION HERE 

    You can find one-page information sheets to use in your advocacy here:

    Senate One-Pager

    House One-Pager

    Thanks to our Campaign Steering Committee partners National Alliance on Mental Illness – Virginia, Mental Health America- Virginia, and the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards for their collaboration. Thanks also to all the children’s mental health advocates who attended Mental Health Advocacy Day at the Capitol on January 19!

  4. Community Conversation about Children’s Mental Health in Charlottesville

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    On December 4th, Voices for Virginia’s Children is working with partners in the greater Charlottesville area to organize and host an event, “A Community Conversation about Children’s Mental Health,” to raise awareness of the need for elected officials and residents in the greater Charlottesville area to address mental heath issues in children. We are hoping that this event will provide a unique opportunity for families, advocates, school system representatives, public and private mental health service providers, and legislators to come together to hear about recent positive developments in the children’s mental health system as well as discuss the continuing difficulties in accessing effective treatment.

    We are thrilled that Senator Creigh Deeds will be joining  a panel of mental health providers to discuss children’s mental health and answer questions.  

    We hope this event can serve as an important vehicle for keeping children’s mental health issues in the spotlight for key legislators and for bringing together families and treatment professionals to discuss ways to improve the lives of children with mental health challenges.

    Here are the details:

    When:  Thursday, December 4th, 2014, Food available at 6:00 PM, 6:30-8:30 PM Program

    Where: Jefferson School City Center, Carver Recreation Center; 233 4th Stree, NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903

    This event is FREE and food will be provided.  Childcare and transportation stipends available

    Click here to register:   http://surveymonkey.com/s/cvillekids 

    Questions:  Contact Ashley Everette at ashley@vakids.org

    Check out the flyer and share with friends:  Community Conversation December 2014 FINAL[1]

     

     

     

     

     

     

  5. UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUTH: HOPEVOICE IS BACK!

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    HopeVoice is back! The Virginia Family Network, a program of NAMI Virginia, is once again facilitating a great opportunity for youth in the Richmond area who have a mental health condition, or whose parent or sibling has a mental health condition. Join other youth ages 12-18 in similar situations to share your experiences (confidentially within the group) through digital storytelling. It’s free and there’s pizza! Contact Amanda Long at NAMI Virginia for more info: along@namivirginia.org or 804-285-8264 ext. 211.

    Here are details:

    HopeVoice: Activity-based Youth Group!

    WHEN:  Every Tuesday from 5pm – 7pm, starting September 3rd, 2013 (please note this is an on-going project and does not have an end date).

    WHERE: Interstate Office Park, 2104 West Laburnum St., Richmond, VA 23227

    WHO:  Teens, Ages 12 – 18, who personally have a mental health condition or have a parent or sibling with a mental health condition

    WHAT: Youth Group

    Do you have a parent or sibling with a mental health condition or have you yourself experienced mental health challenges? 

    Would you like to meet and talk with other teens who are going through what you are going through? 

    Youth will have the opportunity to engage in fun activities and develop relationships with other teens! We will be utilizing a number of different media outlets such as video, photography, music and social media for self-expression and community outreach!

    Pizza and refreshments will be served.  Cost of Group – Free!

    To sign up and for more information, contact Amanda Long, along@namivirginia.org or 804-285-8264 ext. 211.

     

     

     

  6. Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Mental Health

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    Voices for Virginia’s Children and the Campaign for Children’s Mental Health are pleased to be partnering with NAMI Virginia and many other organizations to sponsor a forum on mental health topics for the two men seeking to become Virginia’s next Governor. Please join us on August 5th in Richmond to hear what they have to say!

    Candidate Forum on Mental Health
    The coalition of mental health organizations is sponsoring a candidate forum on mental health. This forum is an opportunity for citizens to hear from Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates, Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe, on their ideas and policy platforms for mental health issues.

    When and Where
    Monday, August 5th
    6:30 – 8:30 pm
    Oates Theater, Collegiate School (Richmond, Virginia)

    Flyer
    Click here for a flyer with detailed information including the address and event sponsors.

    Map and Directions
    Click here for a detailed campus map. Look for Building “A” on the map.
    Click here for directions to the Main Campus of Collegiate School.

    Parking
    Click here for parking information. Look for the area on the map marked “Event Location” and the areas on the map in yellow marked “Parking”. Please allow ample time to locate a parking spot and arrive at the forum on time.

    Registration
    Click here to register!Registration is encouraged but not required.

    Questions?
    Contact Mary Beth Walsh mwalsh@namivirginia.org (804) 285-8264 x 204

    Sponsoring Organizations

    American Academy of Pediatrics – Virginia Chapter
    American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – Virginia Chapter
    Brain Injury Association of America
    Campaign for Children’s Mental Health
    CHIP of Virginia & Parents as Teachers State Office
    Collegiate School
    DisAbility Law Center of Virginia
    FACES of Virginia Families
    Legislative Coalition of Virginia Nurses
    Mental Health America of Virginia
    National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia
    National Association of Social Workers – Virginia Chapter
    Psychiatric Society of Virginia
    Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance
    Virginia Association of Community Services Boards
    Virginia Association of Infant Mental Health
    Virginia Association of School Nurses
    Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness
    Virginia College of Emergency Physicians
    Virginia Counselors Association
    Virginia Network of Private Providers
    Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership
    Voices for Virginia’s Children
    Virginia Sheriff’s Institute
    Virginia Association of Area Associations on Aging
    Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
    Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
    Virginia Coalition of Private Provider Associations

     

  7. Candidate Forum on Mental Health Featuring Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe

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    The Campaign for Children’s Mental Health and Voices for Virginia’s Children are pleased to be partnering with NAMI Virginia and many other organizations to sponsor a forum on mental health topics for the two men seeking to become Virginia’s next Governor. Please join us on August 5th in Richmond to hear what they have to say!

    Candidate Forum on Mental Health
    The coalition of mental health organizations is sponsoring a candidate forum on mental health. This forum is an opportunity for citizens to hear from Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates, Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe, on their ideas and policy platforms for mental health issues.

    When and Where
    Monday, August 5th
    6:30 – 8:30 pm
    Oates Theater, Collegiate School (Richmond, Virginia)

    Flyer
    Click here for a flyer with detailed information including the address and event sponsors.

    Map and Directions
    Click here for a detailed campus map. Look for Building “A” on the map.
    Click here for directions to the Main Campus of Collegiate School.

    Parking
    Click here for parking information. Look for the area on the map marked “Event Location” and the areas on the map in yellow marked “Parking”. Please allow ample time to locate a parking spot and arrive at the forum on time.

    Registration
    Click here to register!Registration is encouraged but not required.

    Questions?
    Contact Mary Beth Walsh mwalsh@namivirginia.org (804) 285-8264 x 204

    Sponsoring Organizations

    American Academy of Pediatrics – Virginia Chapter
    American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – Virginia Chapter
    Brain Injury Association of America
    Campaign for Children’s Mental Health
    CHIP of Virginia & Parents as Teachers State Office
    Collegiate School
    DisAbility Law Center of Virginia
    FACES of Virginia Families
    Legislative Coalition of Virginia Nurses
    Mental Health America of Virginia
    National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia
    National Association of Social Workers – Virginia Chapter
    Psychiatric Society of Virginia
    Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance
    Virginia Association of Community Services Boards
    Virginia Association of Infant Mental Health
    Virginia Association of School Nurses
    Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness
    Virginia College of Emergency Physicians
    Virginia Counselors Association
    Virginia Network of Private Providers
    Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership
    Voices for Virginia’s Children
    Virginia Sheriff’s Institute
    Virginia Association of Area Associations on Aging
    Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
    Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
    Virginia Coalition of Private Provider Associations