SD3 - Interim Report of the Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century (SJR 47, 2014)
At the 2014 Regular Session of the General Assembly, the Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century was established pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 47. The 12-member Joint Subcommittee was directed to review the laws of the Commonwealth governing the provision of mental health services, including involuntary commitment of persons in need of mental health care, and recommend statutory or regulatory changes needed to improve access to services, the quality of services, and outcomes for individuals in need of services.
The Joint Subcommittee was originally scheduled to issue its final report on December 1, 2017. In 2017, the work of the Joint Subcommittee was extended for two years in the Appropriation Act (Chapter 836 of the Acts of Assembly of 2017), with the Joint Subcommittee now scheduled to issue its final report on December 1, 2019.
Senator R. Creigh Deeds and Delegate Robert B. Bell III serve as the Joint Subcommittee’s chair and vice-chair, respectively. The Joint Subcommittee held five meetings during the 2016 Interim and four meetings during the 2017 Interim.
In the course of its meetings during the 2016 and 2017 Interims, the Joint Subcommittee received extensive testimony from numerous individuals with expertise in the field of mental health, including representatives from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, sheriffs and other law-enforcement personnel, representatives of various advocacy groups, mental health service providers, and the general public. The Joint Subcommittee also received regular reports from the expert advisory panels formed by the Joint Subcommittee to advise and assist the Joint Subcommittee in its work.
During the 2016 and 2017 Interims, the Joint Subcommittee continued its evaluation of the current state of the mental health services system in the Commonwealth and how mental health services are provided. The Joint Subcommittee made numerous statutory and budgetary recommendations for reforming the current system and will continue its evaluation of the current system with the goal of making recommendations for reform of the existing system to ensure consistent delivery of high-quality mental health treatment and recovery support services in a timely and effective manner throughout the Commonwealth.