skip to main content

Thursday, June 1, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Alabamans urge a grocery tax reduction, a tape shows Trump knew about a classified document on Iran, Pennsylvania puts federal road funds to work and Minnesota's marijuana law will wipe away minor offenses.

play newscast audioPlay

Democrats say a wealth tax would help alleviate some national debt, lawmakers aim to continue pandemic-era funding for America's child care sector, and teachers say firearms at school will make students less safe.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Groups Push VA Lawmakers to Ease Mental-Health Crisis

play audio
Play

Wednesday, February 5, 2020   

RICHMOND, Va. -- Mental-health support groups are sponsoring an advocacy day today in Richmond, urging lawmakers to back funding to help Virginians deal with a growing mental-health crisis.

Gov. Ralph Northam aims to boost funding for the STEP-Virginia behavioral health system initiative, according to Bruce Cruser, executive director of Mental Health America's Virginia office. He said the program aims to provide equitable mental-health care throughout the state, regardless of local funding.

"The big push now will be outpatient mental-health services for children and adults, and mobile crisis teams, and peer and family-support services," he said, "as well as veterans' services."

Northam's new budget would add more than $175 million to the STEP-Virginia program. A recent Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission report showed the program is falling short of its 2021 goal of providing same-day assessment for all mental-health outpatients.

Cruser said some rural parts of Virginia can't attract enough practitioners to meet the needs of a growing number of patients with mental-health challenges. He said the coalition also is pushing lawmakers to get more federal funding for a student-loan repayment assistance program for eligible mental-health providers.

"It would increase the number of practitioners by having an incentive," he said, "so the state would, say, provide payment of 25% of their loan debt each year in exchange for a year of service in an underserved community in Virginia."

A recent Mental Health America report showed that the Commonwealth consistently ranks near the bottom, at 41st among states, for providing access to a trained medical-health workforce. Meanwhile, the number of adults diagnosed with mental illnesses in Virginia has grown in the past four years, with the state ranking 40th in the nation.

The JLARC study is online at jlarc.virginia.gov, the Mental Health in America report is at mhanational.org, the Northam budget proposal is at governor.virginia.gov, and the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health is at dbhds.virginia.gov.


get more stories like this via email

A new park, San Vicente Redwoods, opened up late last year near Santa Cruz, Calif., in an area previously ravaged by fire and logging. (Nadia Hamey)

Environment

play sound

This Saturday, June 3, thousands of Californians will be among hundreds of thousands of Americans heading into the great outdoors to celebrate …


Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of Wisconsin groups is asking Gov. Tony Evers to reject bills it contends would make it harder for people struggling to get by to bounce …

Social Issues

play sound

Two months from today, Minnesota will begin the process of removing low-level marijuana convictions for those who have them on their criminal records…


Alabama is one of only three states still applying its full state sales tax on the purchase of groceries and food items. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Groups working to fight poverty in Alabama are urging state senators to approve a bill aimed at lowering food costs for families. House Bill 479 …

Social Issues

play sound

Navigating college can seem overwhelming for first generation students, but an early outreach program at Arizona State University aims to change it…

Nebraska was one of 10 states to further restrict abortion access in the 2023 legislative session. At least 48 bills were passed involving restrictions for LGBTQ+ individuals. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new Nebraska law is now the subject of a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Lancaster County. In its amended form, Legislative Bill 574 …

Social Issues

play sound

A proposal from the federal government could provide a better path toward student loan debt repayment, but a new survey finds many borrowers don't …

Environment

play sound

Maine lawmakers are considering two pieces of legislation which supporters said are needed to ensure "responsible" development of offshore wind projec…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021