WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Final McDonnell Budget Includes More Funding For Mental Health Services

Play associated audio

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has released the final two-year budget proposal of his term, and it includes $38 million of additional funding for mental health services. While that's a start, advocates say that it will take more than that to build an effective mental health system in the commonwealth.

McDonnell's proposal would provide funding for community and crisis mental health services. But for Mira Signer, the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia, while the $38 million is significant, the actual impact it will have on specific programs is unclear.

"It's a start. But it's going to take a little bit of time to really analyze and get a good hold on exactly what the impact will be," she says.

State Senator George Barker, who works on mental health issues, says the General Assembly voted to expand services after the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, but that was scaled back during the recession. Barker says that since then, lawmakers have been working to increase funding for a range of services bit by bit.

"What we're clearly going to have to do long term is to improve the outpatient mental health services significantly and work with individuals and their families so they're in a better position to manage themselves," he says.

Barker says he expects the General Assembly to expand on McDonnell's proposal during the legislative session in January.

NPR

Remembering Robert Swanson, Advertising's 'King Of Jingles'

Robert Swanson revolutionized American advertising and wrote some of the most memorable ad jingles of the 1950s and '60s for products ranging from Campbell's Soup to Pall Mall cigarettes. He died at 95 July 17 at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.
NPR

In Alaska's Remote Towns, Climate Change Is Already Leaving Many Hungry

Melting ice has made it harder to hunt walrus, a traditional staple for Native Alaskans. Warmer temps mean caribou aren't where hunters used to find them. It all adds up to more food insecurity.
NPR

Bill Clinton Defends His Wife's Greatest Criticisms: Trust, Selfishness

Bill Clinton had a formidable challenge on Tuesday: to sell the American people on one of the most disliked politicians in political history.
WAMU 88.5

How To Help Teens And Children Fight 'Tech Addiction'

Many parents and therapists say obsessive internet use is a very real problem for some teens and children. But the term “internet addiction” is controversial and not officially recognized as a disorder. How to help kids who compulsively use computers and mobile technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.