Mental Health Bills Move Forward In Virginia | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Mental Health Bills Move Forward In Virginia

Play associated audio
Virginia Capital Building
WAMU / Matt Lazlo
Virginia Capital Building

Virginia is moving closer to implementing changes to its mental health system under legislation that has advanced in the General Assembly. The state Senate approved two bills to help clarify how long a person can be held for treatment under a temporary detention order.

Critics of current law argue that it doesn’t authorize enough time to diagnose and begin treating temporarily detained patients in crisis. Sen. George Barker’s (D-Fairfax County) bill would lengthen the time for staying in custody.

What this measure would do is make it a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 72 hours, so that the maximum would be three days instead of the current two days.

Courts are already required to send the names of those who are involuntarily committed or ordered to outpatient treatment to the Criminal Records Exchange for gun background checks. But Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) says the process was confusing.

What the State Police found was that they couldn’t find the orders. Was the order filed where the hearing took place or was the order filed where the person lived? What this bill makes clear is that the order should be filed where the hearing takes place and no late r than the close of business the following day.

And a Senate panel has approved Sen. Creigh Deeds’ (D-Bath County) bill to quadruple the time for emergency detentions in order to find psychiatric beds, to create a statewide bed registry, and to use state hospitals as a last resort. That bill was sent to the Finance Committee.

NPR

Film About Campus Sexual Assault Tells Survivors: 'You Are Not Alone'

Survivors Annie Clark and Andrea Pino brought a Title IX complaint against the University of North Carolina. "This is not about UNC," Clark says. "We're not doing this to vilify our institution."
NPR

When Food Is Too Good To Waste, College Kids Pick Up The Scraps

Millions of tons of food are wasted on college campuses around the country, and students are noticing. Some of them are now rescuing food to make tasty meals for the needy and compost for gardens.
NPR

Jeb's Rowdy Supporters Help Him Escape The CPAC Lion's Den

The former Florida governor's supporters shouted down his hecklers at his much anticipated appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

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