Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Richmond, VA – Senator Creigh Deeds (D- Bath) announced the restructuring of the Joint Subcommittee Studying Mental Health Services in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century during the committee’s meeting yesterday. Included in his restructuring is the creation of four new working groups: Structure and Finance, Criminal Justice, Crisis Intervention and Emergency Services, and Housing.
As the Chairman of the Joint Subcommittee, Sen. Deeds assigned Delegate T. Scott Garrett, M.D. to chair the Crisis Intervention and Emergency Services work group. This work group is tasked with evaluating the existing crisis response and emergency services system and providing recommendations for reform of such system. The workgroups will also be assisted by advisory panels made up of experts in the field of mental health. Two members of the Crisis and Emergency Services advisory panel are from our district: Damien Cabezas of Horizon Behavioral Health and Dr. Ted Stryker of Centra Health.
Per the original direction of Senate Joint Resolution 47 (2014), the full Subcommittee will submit a final report to the Governor and General Assembly in December 2017 with recommendations and observations.
“Even in the best health care system, crises arise. This work group will evaluate how our current system serves those of our neighbors who experience mental health crisis and will make recommendations for improvements. We will also study ways to prevent those individuals from needing emergency custody or mandatory treatment services any changes that should be made to the current system to improve outcomes for those individuals. If the system is broken in any area, it is our goal to identify the issue and do what we can to fix it. I am honored and humbled to serve as the Chairman for this important work group and look forward to making a meaningful difference in the lives of our citizens who suffer with mental illness,” said Delegate Garrett.
Delegate T. Scott Garrett, M.D. represents the 23rd District in the Virginia House of Delegates, which includes portions of Amherst County, Bedford County, and the City of Lynchburg.
Link to information about the Subcommittee: http://studies.virginiageneralassembly.gov/studies/341