Update on Children’s Mental Health Funding InitiativesComments Off on Update on Children’s Mental Health Funding Initiatives
On Tuesday, September 17th, 2013, an update on the children’s mental health funding initiatives was presented to the Senate Finance Health and Human Resources Subcommittee. John Pezzoli, Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Sandy Bryant, Senior Director of Child and Family Services of the Heath Planning Region I- Horizon Behavioral Health, and Lisa Moore, Executive Director of the Health Planning Region III- Mount Rogers CSB were invited to give presentations on the recent accomplishments and ongoing needs in the children’s mental health system.
The presentations highlighted the uses of the 2013 General Assembly’s allocation for children’s crisis response services and child psychiatry in five regions of the state. As you will remember, the Campaign advocated for and secured $1.9 million in FY14 for children’s crisis response services and child psychiatry; this total includes the $1 million added by Gov. McDonnell and the $900,000 added by the General Assembly. This additional funding allowed for the expansion of children’s crisis services making these crisis services available to all five regions of the state, including the 2 additional health planning regions, Northern Virginia and Tidewater that were not funded the year before. In total, Virginia appropriated $5.15 million in new funding for children’s mental health services in this two-year state budget cycle. This means that the estimated 100,000 children with serious mental health disorders in Virginia now have better access to child psychiatry and community-based crisis response services to help avoid hospitalizations and other out-of- home placements.
These presentations also highlighted that these projects are producing positive outcomes for children that include an increase in the number of children (0-17years) receiving emergency services and child psychiatry services, and a reduction in admissions to CCCA, as well as, a reduction in the number of bed days if admitted to a CCCA. Finally, this presentation drew attention to the fact that child psychiatrists are often difficult to find, even when funding is available.
You can read and download the three presentations here: http://sfc.virginia.gov/subcommittees/health_hr.shtml