Virginia unveils statewide program to increase access to mental health services

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ/VMAP Launch) – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Dr. Daniel Carey, Virginia’s Secretary of Well being and Human Sources, have unveiled a statewide initiative designed to reinforce entry to psychological well being companies among the many commonwealth’s youngsters and younger adults.

Beneath growth since 2018, the Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP) is a four-tiered initiative designed to assist well being care suppliers take higher care of youngsters, teenagers and younger adults with psychological well being circumstances. Administered by the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Virginia Department of Health and quite a few different companions, VMAP is a statewide initiative that gives training to main care suppliers on managing pediatric psychological well being; will increase their entry to little one psychiatrists, psychologists and social employees; and assists their affected person households with navigating the provision of extra psychological well being assets.

“Virginia ranks forty first within the nation for our psychological well being workforce, which is unacceptable,” stated Secretary of Well being and Human Sources Daniel Carey, MD, MHCM. “The Virginia Psychological Well being Entry Program – greater than three years within the making with companions and assets in place all through the commonwealth – is a major step ahead in serving to Virginia’s households entry the form of psychological well being care they want for his or her youngsters.”

Secretary Carey added, “Immediately’s official public unveiling of VMAP is especially vital as we proceed to handle the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic within the commonwealth. We all know, in fact, that the virus has affected the bodily well being of a whole lot of hundreds of Virginians, however much less seen has been the methods wherein this public well being emergency has influenced the psychological well being of Virginians. That is significantly true of youngsters who typically internalize the anxieties and stress led to by the disruptions to their regular lives. I might encourage mother and father to hunt assist from their little one’s medical supplier for any psychological well being considerations.”

The Virginia Psychological Well being Entry Program has 4 core parts, in response to program organizers:

  • Training. This system offers ongoing training to main care suppliers (together with pediatricians, household drugs physicians, NPs, and PAs) that enables these well being care suppliers to higher display screen, diagnose, handle and deal with their pediatric sufferers for a spread of psychological well being circumstances.
  • Behavioral Well being Seek the advice of Entry. VMAP connects main care suppliers treating youngsters and adolescents by phone with regional VMAP hubs which are staffed with little one and adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists and social employees obtainable for session.
  • Care Navigation. Help is obtainable that helps the affected person households establish and navigate extra psychological well being companies which are provided of their group, outdoors of the first care setting when wanted.
  • Telehealth. Telehealth companies will probably be obtainable to VMAP hubs to help with consults later in 2021. This can enable VMAP consults to supply higher help to PCPs.

“At the present time throughout Psychological Well being Consciousness month marks an necessary milestone for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I’m pleased with the position that VMAP has performed in growing this statewide response to the dearth of essential psychological well being assets in each a part of the state,” stated Sandy L. Chung, M.D., medical director of VMAP, a previous board member of the Medical Society of Virginia and herself a pediatrician. “In Virginia, there are solely 13 little one and teenage psychiatrists for each 100,000 youngsters, a ratio that threatens the wellbeing of lots of our youngest residents. We’re grateful to Gov. Northam and Sec. Carey for his or her management, in addition to the management of Virginia legislators who helped present VMAP’s foundational funding for this essential initiative.”

In accordance with VMAP, as a part of the preliminary growth of this system over the previous two years, greater than 500 main care suppliers across the state have enrolled with the VMAP seek the advice of line, greater than 1,000 consultations have already got been supplied to main care suppliers treating youngsters and adolescents through VMAP’s seek the advice of line, and greater than 450 suppliers have obtained coaching in pediatric psychological well being by means of VMAP’s instructional program.

VMAP was awarded a Well being Sources and Providers Administration grant by means of the Virginia Division of Well being in 2018, enabling VMAP to launch its first companies for Virginia main care suppliers treating youngsters and adolescents. This included pediatric psychological well being instructional programming and a part-time seek the advice of line staffed with little one and adolescent psychiatrists obtainable to main care suppliers statewide. The 2019 Governor’s price range included $1.2 million to help implementing VMAP companies within the northern and japanese areas of the state, together with regional behavioral well being suppliers to help with session, and care navigation companies. Quickly after, MSVF was named program administrator for this system. In 2020, VMAP was included the state price range for an extra $4.2 million {dollars} to broaden VMAP companies statewide.

Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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