Mental Health Crisis Emergency Response: Improving Care for People in Crisis in Virginia

Report to SJ 47 Joint Subcommittee and the Statewide Stakeholder Task Force Summarizing Deliberations of Regional Stakeholders Meetings

October, 2018

Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia

In response to the current crisis, the Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the 21st Century established a statewide Task Force to conduct a comprehensive study of the factors contributing to the crisis and to identify possible solutions. In collaboration with the SJ 47 Expert Panel on Emergency Services and Crisis Response, the Task Force convened stakeholder meetings over the course of several months in 2018 in each of the five Primary DBHDS Regions in Virginia. This preliminary report summarizes the observations, viewpoints, and recommendations that emerged out of that process. In addition, specific proposals for changes to or additional services for the crisis response system have been developing, with some of them emerging out of the regional meeting process and others having already started independently. Those service proposals, which are in various stages of conceptual development, are briefly described at the end of the report along with recommendations for how their development may be supported by financial or statutory actions of the General Assembly.