RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin signed twenty-four bills as part of his historic Right Help, Right Now plan, aimed at strengthening insurance coverage for behavioral health services for Virginians, reducing the burden on law enforcement and enhancing the behavioral health workforce. Governor Youngkin was joined at Fauquier Health Hospital by legislators, local law enforcement, health care leaders, and behavioral health care advocates from across the Commonwealth. The bills signed into law address important issues like wait times for individuals being held under a Temporary Detention Order (TDO), coverage by private health insurance for mobile crisis teams, and efforts to bolster the behavioral health care workforce.
“Virginians deserve same-day behavioral health services in their moment of need, and yet many people find themselves waiting days for a bed to become available. When you need help, every moment matters. At times, that care arrives too late,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Due to inadequate capacity and outdated laws, our law enforcement heroes often stay with patients in emergency rooms while they are waiting for care. I’m grateful to the General Assembly for helping us honor our commitment to ensuring every Virginian experiencing a behavioral health crisis will know who to call, and where to go for access to behavioral health care.”
“Virginians have become too familiar with the tragic loss of a loved one due to a mental health or substance use crisis,” said First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin. “Our work together will create a continuum of care that spans prevention, crisis and recovery services. Every single Virginian has a role to play in the important work to destigmatize behavioral health and know what to do in a crisis.”
“It is just that we address the growing needs and prioritize care before a crisis devastates a family, a scenario that sadly, my family has experienced. I am thankful for the Governor’s leadership and the work of the General Assembly in passing practical legislation to help those in need,” said Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears.
“We are taking important steps forward today to get us closer to our goal of ensuring every person in Virginia has the help they need, right when they need it,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel. “For far too long, our behavioral health care system has lacked the infrastructure to support the needs of Virginians. While we are only in the first year of our three-year plan, these bills will have a tremendous impact on people in need of care, their loved ones, and their communities.”