SD12 - Interim Report on the Mental Health Needs and Treatment of Young Minority Adults

Executive Summary:


Authority for Study

Senate Joint Resolution 25 (2004) directed the Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) to “study the mental health needs and treatment of young minority adults in the Commonwealth." This is a two-year study with an interim report due by the first day of the 2005 session. The final report, a document which will include findings and recommendations, will be submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly by the first day of the 2006 session.

Provisions of SJR 25

SJR 25 requires to Joint Commission on Health Care in conducting the study to:

• Estimate the “number of mentally disabled young adults by gender, age, and racial and ethnic classification, in the geographic regions of the Commonwealth."

• Identify the “prevailing mental health and emotional disorders and their etiology among minority young adults [and]...the mental health needs of minority citizens, particularly minority young adults in Virginia."

• Determine the “number of racial and ethnic minority persons who receive mental health treatment and the facilities providing such care."

• Ascertain whether “mental health providers are trained to provide culturally competent mental health treatment" and the level of need for such treatment in Virginia.

• Review “federal and state laws and regulations…and identify the…extent to which medical records information may be disclosed to parents and family members to assist them in obtaining health, social services, and mental health treatment for mentally disabled young adults" and recommend ways to provide information to allow family members to obtain services and treatment without resorting to involuntary commitment.

The study will be completed within the context of a workgroup including individuals who are knowledgeable and concerned about mental health issues and minority access to treatment.