Mental Health Service Challenges Locally and Statewide

There are about 40 Community Services Boards that provide locally based, readily available mental-health care services for recipients, close to their homes—among them is the Horizon Behavioral Health in Lynchburg. However, a dozen task forces have said methods of care and funding vary from one community to another. Four studies from 1997 through 2000 found the same needs and the same barriers, such as lack of funding and uneven services. Reports released in the past 10 years have led to improvements in the system. According to Virginia’s Joint Commission on Health Care, there were sweeping changes to state laws in the two years following the Virginia Tech shootings. A newly formed mental-health task force gathering in Richmond today will begin to address such issues as adult commitment criteria and commitment procedures for minors, along with procedural requirements, disclosure and privacy provisions.

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