Selected Mental Health Legislative Outcomes
Behavioral Health Commission Created | SB1273 (Deeds).
· Creates a permanent Behavioral Health Commission in the legislative branch
Authorization of drugs prescribed for the treatment of a mental health disorder | HB2008 & SB1269 (Del. Heretick & Sen. McPike)
· Eliminates prior authorization requirements for medications prescribed for the treatment of mental health disorders listed in the DSM-5.
Immigration status and mental health facilities | SB1220 (Sen. Favola)
· Repeals the requirements that the state mental health facilities screen patients’ immigration status and report both documented and undocumented immigrants to ICE.
Crisis Call Center Fund and regulations established | SB1302 (Sen. McPike)
· Provides that the crisis call center shall be designated as the 9-8-8 Crisis Hotline Center to align and participate in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline initiative.
Arrest and prosecution when reporting overdoses | HB1821 (Del. Bulova).
· Prohibits the arrest or prosecution of an individual for drug charges if they render emergency assistance, including CPR or the administration of naloxone, to an individual experiencing an overdose while another individual seeks or obtains emergency medical attention.
School-based health services | SB1307 (Sen. Dunnavant)
· Requires the state to pay for services delivered to Medicaid-eligible students that may be provided currently by school divisions, regardless of whether the student receiving such services has an individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Health Workforce Development Authority | HB1976 (Del. Willett)
· Expands the mission of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority to include
developing strategies to increase diversity in the health workforce.
Abolition of the death penalty | SB1165 & HB2263 (Sen. Surovell & Del. Mullin).
Recognize Racism as a public health crisis in Virginia | HJ537 (Del. Aird ).
The following bills did NOT pass during the 2021 legislation session:
Abolition of the common-law crime of suicide | HB1951 (Del. Simon)
· The House passed this bill, but the Senate Courts committee killed this stigma-reducing legislation.
Restrictions and prohibition on isolated confinement | SB1301 (Sen. Morrissey).
· The Senate passed legislation that would end most use of solitary confinement in Virginia prisons, however, it was left in the House Appropriations Committee without a hearing.