Virginia Democrats outline mental health proposals

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:43 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Democrats highlighted the state’s mental health crisis, and outlined legislation they say will improve the state’s behavioral health system.

Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath Co.) joined other lawmakers and mental health advocates at a Richmond news conference Wednesday morning.

He said he supports additional funding for community-based programs, to address the staffing shortage in local Community Service Boards and to make sure Medicaid patients receive the help they need.

“Look, we have to rise to the challenges of the mental health crisis with a long-term strategy and long-term investments to keep people out of crisis to begin with,” Deeds said during the new conference.

Sen. Monty Mason (D-Williamsburg) and Del. Nadarius Clark (D-Portsmouth) also participated.

Other Democratic proposals include Clark’s bill that would create a loan repayment program for mental health professionals who have worked in Virginia at least five years.