One of the biggest issues for this legislative session is whether to expand Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act assumed states would do that and offered to pay the full cost for the first three years – then scaling back to 90% over the next seven years.
About half the states – including Virginia – refused, and that means about 190,000 people in the Commonwealth will still be without medical coverage. Governor McAuliffe is pushing for expansion of Medicaid, but Republicans are pushing back with some surprising proposals.
It’s five times more expensive to care for people with mental illness in a hospital than in the community, so it makes financial sense that the governor’s proposed budget contains more money for a model mental health program designed to keep people out of hospitals.
When individuals or families face a mental health crisis in and around Charlottesville, help is just a phone call away. Region Ten’s Emergency Services are available 24/7. Patients with serious depression, schizophrenia and other mental illness are welcomed at the community mental health center
Governor McDonnell has unveiled a series of funding provisions for his final state budget to improve and strengthen Virginia’s mental health services. The Governor had already decided to fund these Campus Safety Task Force recommendations this summer, but their urgency was underscored by the recent death of a state senator’s son after local health officials reportedly could not find a psychiatric bed for him during a mental health crisis. McDonnell says the reforms will continue long after he has left office.
Some in the mental health field say it is not uncommon for a person suffering from mental illness to be turned away from treatment.
National Alliance for Mental Illness Virginia Director Mira Signer says it happens more often than people think. The state Inspector General found that during a three-month case study alone, 72 Virginians who should have been detained were denied needed care.