Mental Health

MBandman / Creative Commons

For years, lawmakers in Virginia have struggled to find ways to expand mental health care — with mixed results. A new report from the Commonwealth Institute finds a racial divide in terms of who gets help. 

Prison or Mental Health Facility?

Jun 6, 2017
Dave Nakayama / Creative Commons

The death of an inmate who suffered from mental illness at the Hampton Roads jail has prompted a series of changes in Virginia, but sheriffs remain concerned that jails have become de facto mental institutions.

Steve Helber / AP


Lawmakers started the session with a resolve to do something about the problem of mental illness in Virginia jails, an effort that has urgency this year because of a tragic death that happened last year. But as Michael Pope reports, now lawmakers are saying they can’t find the money to change the system.


The state has awarded $3.5 million in grants to six regional jails to provide mental health services.  Officials hope to address the underlying cause of crimes -- to keep inmates from coming back after they’re released. 

Rockbridge Area Community Services

Rural mental health crisis intervention is getting a boost from a new regional Crisis Intervention Assessment Site in Lexington. 

Rockbridge Area Community Services has been training law enforcement officers to become members a Mental Health Crisis Intervention Team. Now, in cooperation with Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital, they have a Crisis Intervention Assessment Site. John Young is Executive Director of Rockbridge Area Community Services: