Gov. McDonnell Releases Recommendations for Va. Mental Health

Dec. 20, 2013

Governor Bob McDonnell releases recommendations from Health and Human Resource Secretary Bill Hazel’s review for improving Virginia's mental health system.

Those recommendations include:

- Amend Virginia Code § 37.2-808 to clarify responsibility for notifying the Community Services Board (CSB) 1) when an Emergency Custody Order (ECO) has been issued by the magistrate, 2) when the ECO has been executed by law enforcement and 3) of the location to which the individual has been taken for the pre-admission screening assessment.

- Consider removing the requirement that the facility of temporary detention be specified on the Temporary Detention Order (TDO).

- Amend Virginia Code § 37.2-808(G) and (J) to provide an option for further extending the ECO period beyond six hours when the CSB clinician has determined that the individual meets the criteria for a TDO and additional time is needed to locate an available bed at a willing facility.

- Complete the implementation of the electronic psychiatric bed registry that is currently under development.

- Complete and implement revised guidelines for medical screening for use by private and state psychiatric hospitals and emergency departments.

- Clarify the role and expectations of crisis stabilization programs related to accepting individuals under temporary detention.

- Conduct a study to determine the needs in each region of the state for services that will enable assessment and early identification of emotional and psychiatric concerns for children and adults.

- Explore all avenues to increase and improve cooperation and mutual support through the partnerships between CSBS, state hospitals, private hospitals, law enforcement and judicial officials.

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