RD636 - 2017 Annual Executive Summary of the Activity and Work of the State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services – January 1, 2018
I am writing on behalf of the State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The purpose of this letter is to provide a copy of the Annual Executive Summary submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly in accordance with subsection E of § 37.2-200 of the Code of Virginia.
The membership of the Board includes individuals who have received behavioral health or developmental disability services, family members of people with disabilities, a local elected official, a psychiatrist and citizens at large. We feel it is important to make the case that, of all the demands presented each year for state support, the needs of Virginians with mental health or substance use disorders or intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families are particularly important and deserving of increased resources.
In 2017, the Board held its meetings at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) Central Office in Richmond, along with Winchester and Williamsburg. During these meetings, the Board heard reports from DBHDS Interim Commissioner Dr. Jack Barber and presentations on the System Transformation, Excellence and Performance (STEP-VA) model to transform Virginia’s mental health services, mental health services in jails, Service Quality Process Management (SPQM), alternative transportation, hospital census and the extraordinary barriers list, workforce development, and recovery services. Members also heard from partner and stakeholder groups such as Mental Health America Virginia, NAMI-Virginia, and the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards. The Board would like to thank Interim Commissioner Barber, DBHDS staff, the legislature, and your administration for your hard work to transform our system into one that provides access to quality services to all Virginians with behavioral health disorders and developmental services.
The Board’s priorities for 2018 are:
1. Additional funding to allow the remaining 22 CSBs to begin providing Same Day Access as required in 2017 legislative action.
2. As many additional Developmental Disabilities Waivers as possible be included in the next budget to work to eliminate the large waiting list.
3. Capital funding for much needed maintenance and improvement for state facilities in the Commonwealth.
4. More funding be allocated to community support services, housing, and employment for individuals being discharged from state hospitals, and for services that would prevent crisis and the need for hospitalization.
The Board urges that behavioral health and developmental services priorities remain in the forefront of all those issues before the legislature in 2018. If there are helpful ways we might highlight the need for these services, we are eager to support such efforts.
/s/ Paula Mitchell