Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Board of Medical Assistance Services
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11/5/21  9:11 am
Commenter: Robert Ritchey

Resource Needs

In my position, I assist college students with accessing mental health intensive treatment options when warranted and then meet with them following discharge from various facilities across the state.  I feel others have addressed many of the specific issues/aspects concerning the proposed changes in the other comments, so I will speak on potential impacts of limiting resources at a time when they are critically needed.  Our most utilized resource is our local crisis stabilization unit through New River Valley Community Services.  The feedback from students regarding the interventions and benefits they receive from the crisis stabilization unit far outpace any other intensive treatment options available. It would be extremely detrimental for us to lose this as resource.  We are in a fairly rural area and when local beds are unavailable we have students sent all across Virginia (often transported cuffed in the back seat of police vehicles when under a Temporary Detention Order).  Many of these students are international students and once they are discharged, we end up trying to assist them with bus options, taxi services, etc. to try to help them return to the Blacksburg area. Having excellent care right nearby through our crisis stabilization unit benefits not only our students but the community at large.  There needs to be some careful foresight and flexibility to ensure the state is not limiting available options through possibly well-meaning regulations which further imperils an already inadequate mental health safety net.

CommentID: 116682