Clinics offering mental health services quickly through pilot program

State Initiative begins FREE telemental health services
Updated: Jan. 5, 2023 at 3:00 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The demand for behavioral and mental health services in Virginia has grown exponentially over the last few years, especially for those who are medically underserved and are in households with lower incomes.

The Virginia Telemental Health Initiative (VTMHI), a new pro bono program that provides free and convenient telemental health services to eligible Virginians who are uninsured or underinsured, launched several free and charitable clinics across the state in January, including the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke.

Christine Wright, Behavioral Health Program Manager at Bradley Free Clinic, joined us on Here @ Home to talk about the services available and how you can access them.

The free services, which are supported by volunteer mental health providers, offer a range of therapies, including those for patients experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety and other behavioral and mental health concerns. All services are provided virtually through telehealth, a secure and increasingly popular patient-provider arrangement that grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, to enrolled patients at participating free and charitable clinics.

“This innovative program addresses a critical need across the Commonwealth, particularly for Virginians whose income levels put vital mental health services out of reach,” said Nelson Smith, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services (DBHDS), a key supporter of the initiative. “VTMHI reflects our underlying commitment toward ensuring the most vulnerable and overlooked populations in Virginia have access to the highest quality care, including in the critical realm of mental health services.”

Other free and charitable clinics piloting the service include, Brock Hughes Medical Center (Wytheville), Charlottesville Free Clinic, Free Clinic of Franklin County, and Health Brigade (Richmond). The clinics will begin offering the VTMHI program in January. Additional clinics will join the initiative on a rolling basis throughout 2023.

Patients can contact the clinics directly to determine their eligibility and make appointments.

Wright says VTMHI will allow them to get patients - who are currently on their waiting list for mental health services - quick access to care and help their clinic better meet the needs of the community.

To be eligible for care at Bradley, you must be a resident of the Roanoke Valley or surrounding area, be of 18 years of age or older, and have an income at or below the 300% FPL (Federal Poverty Level).

For more information about eligibility requirements and how Virginia residents can access mental health services through VTMHI, visit

For more information about VTMHI, visit