A new General Assembly panel is vowing to conduct a thorough review of Virginia’s mental health system, while not shielding any “sacred cows” in the process. The Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the 21st Century held its inaugural meeting… and began by examining how the Commonwealth’s system is faring—then comparing it to other states. Members already seem determined to make reforms.
A broad bipartisan and bicameral consensus at the General Assembly may not create sensational headlines—but such agreements do occur. In Part One of our series on new state laws that take effect this week.
Lawmakers in both parties and Governor McAuliffe made it a priority to cut the number of SOL tests and revise their focus. Early grades will now focus more on reading and math tests. Delegate Tag Greason sponsored a law to limit assessments in third through eighth grades.
While the attack on State Senator Creigh Deeds and subsequent suicide by his son have brought more attention to the issue of mental health in Virginia, child advocates say there are significant gaps in how children and adolescents receive treatment.
It’s because since the tragedy last year, the number of young people who are admitted to mental health facilities has risen—but the number of available beds at a specialized facility has not.
It’s a tough topic to talk about….suicide. Some say if anything good can come out of the tragedy experienced by Senator Creigh Deeds and his family, when he was stabbed by his mentally ill son, who then killed himself….it’s greater awareness about warning signs, risks, and treatment.
The most recent state assessments find teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19….and young adults, up to age 24…are especially vulnerable to higher rates of suicide.