mental health

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Several new state laws are going into effect Saturday in Virginia, potentially impacting how Virginians drive, what kind of alcohol they buy, and what they wear when they go hunting.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this year passed provisions that put in place a $100 fine for driving too slowly in the left lane on highways, allow state-owned liquor stores to sell the hard liquor Everclear, and let hunters wear blaze pink instead of blaze orange.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Health Care Foundation has announced a new $1.5 million program designed to increase access to mental health care for uninsured residents and those with little to no medical care.

Richmond Times Dispatch reports Beyond Blue was revealed on Monday as a two-year initiative beginning this summer. It will focus on the number of psychiatric nurse practitioners in Virginia, treating depression in diabetic patients and implementing a trauma-informed care approach.

official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorney General Mark Herring is meeting with law enforcement officials, mental health advocates and others to discuss ways to improve re-entry services for people preparing to leave local and regional jails.

The attorney general's office is hosting five training sessions on re-entry programs this month for local law enforcement agencies, service providers and others stakeholders. The attorney general's office says the sessions are designed to help localities implement more effective services that help offenders succeed when they go back into the community.

official photo

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney is signing an executive order aimed at improving cabinet-level discussions regarding services for Delaware families.

The new Family Services Cabinet Council being established by Carney will coordinate public services for families, including access to affordable housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and early childhood education.

creative commons

BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore Police and a mental health organization are launching a pilot program to offer some drug offenders treatment instead of jail.

Police and Behavioral Health System Baltimore announced Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, at a news conference Monday.

Through the program, police officers can refer people suspected of low-level drug or prostitution crimes to case managers, who will help them get services, including drug treatment, mental health services and housing assistance.

creative commons

There will be a new psychiatric hospital in Sussex County bringing 133 new jobs.

The 93-thousand square foot facility is expected to be completed by May of 2018 spread over some six acres in Georgetown.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that it will have 90 inpatient and outpatient beds and will cost up to $25 million to build.

There will also be at state grant of just over $700-thousand to support 133 full-time jobs.

Schiz Life

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has released the state of Delaware from a 2011 settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, affirming that the state has reformed its public mental health system.

Local news organizations report that U.S. District Court judge Leonard P. Stark signed the order Tuesday after the DOJ and the state filed a motion to dismiss the settlement agreement. The joint motion states that Delaware has implemented reforms to transform, expand and enhance its ability to serve people with serious and persistent mental illness.

creative commons

BALTIMORE (AP) - A monitoring agency says in its latest quarterly report that juvenile jails in Maryland are understaffed and lack therapeutic treatment.

The Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit, an independent unit under the umbrella of the attorney general's office, released its findings Tuesday.

The report outlines "critical staffing shortages" and a dearth of therapeutic and mental health services for youth, many of whom "feel as if they're just doing time."

creative commons

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - The Portsmouth chapter of the NAACP is calling for a federal investigation into the death of a mentally ill jail inmate who died while waiting for a bed at a state mental hospital.

NAACP Portsmouth chapter President James Boyd says in a statement that the group is seeking an investigation to ensure that improvements are made after the death of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell. The Virginian-Pilot  reports that Mitchell was arrested in April after authorities accused him of stealing snacks and a soda from a convenience store.

creative coomons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has approved a bill to make funding for community health providers more stable to provide better access to services for people suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders.

The Senate voted 35-9 on Monday for a measure known as the "Keep the Door Open Act." It now goes to the House.

The measure indexes annual funding in the state budget to account for inflation. Advocates say the legislation is needed to attract and retain qualified licensed professionals and direct care workers.

creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state panel is seeking public input on how to improve behavioral and mental health services in Delaware.

The state Behavioral and Mental Health Task Force is scheduled to hold a public hearing Wednesday evening at Legislative Hall in Dover to solicit feedback about the accessibility and quality of available services and resources.

The public comments will be considered as the task force makes its final recommendations to the General Assembly.

official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia state senator whose son stabbed him multiple times before killing himself has filed a $6 million lawsuit against the state and a mental health facility.

Sen. R. Creigh (KREE') Deeds of Bath County claims in the lawsuit that 24-year-old Austin "Gus" Deeds was improperly denied treatment.

creative commons

TOWSON, Md. (AP) - A Maryland panel is holding a seminar on how to de-escalate confrontations with people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions is holding a session on Wednesday afternoon to demonstrate what works and what doesn't in a mental health crisis that will include participants who will role play.

The panel is hosting a three-day seminar. About 30 law enforcement officials and behavioral health partners will train at a facility in Sykesville.

SUN Behavioral Health

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A New Jersey company has been given approval from a state health board to build a psychiatric hospital in Sussex County.
The Delaware Health Resources Board on Thursday unanimously approved the Georgetown facility, which will be built by Red Bank, New Jersey-based SUN Behavioral Health.

Senate Campaign Website

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland is among 24 states working toward a standardized system of government-funded behavioral health care.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen said tuesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Maryland about $982,000 to develop a plan for certified community behavioral health clinics.

After the plans are competed next year, the federal agency will fund demonstration programs in a as many as eight states.

go-getters logo

Richard Bearman who has been the executive director of the Salisbury-based Go-Getters for the quarter century is leaving next year.

It’s the largest organization that delivers mental health services on the Lower Shore.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he does plan to stay on to head the outpatient facility in the city’s clinic on Main Street for a few years.

The paper says he is planning on training Dimtrios Cavathas a social work administrator from Baltimore.

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials are holding a briefing on a new law that ensures privacy of confidential medical information for survivors of domestic violence.

The law, which was passed last year, will be outlined Tuesday in Annapolis. It applies to victims who seek reproductive health care, mental health or medical treatment or counseling.

The hearing is being held to detail how a new form that the Maryland Insurance Administration uses to help to insure privacy and security. 

north branch cumberland

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has granted a conditional pardon that will allow a Virginia inmate to get treatment for his autism.
McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy says the governor signed the pardon Tuesday, clearing the way for Reginald Latson's transfer to a secure treatment center in Florida.

carroll county sheriffs website

WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) - Carroll County law enforcement and public-health officials are initiating a crisis intervention team to safely manage people with mental illness.

The event Friday in Westminster adds Carroll County to at least five other Maryland jurisdictions that have embraced the concept.

Team members include law-enforcement officers who have been trained to compassionately manage people who are suffering from a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis.

official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are promising a top-to-bottom review of the state's mental health system with the goal of making it a model for the rest of the country.

A new mental health reform panel met for the first time Monday in Richmond.

official photo

Senator Chris Coons want the new director of the Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center to certify that there is no effort to disguise the backlogs of patient care – a scandal that has ripped through the agency nationally.

The Delaware Democrat wrote that any neglect or suffering by veterans is appalling and demanded to be assured this was not occurring at VA facilities in the state.

The Wilmington News Journal reports it is not known if the Wilmington facility near Elsmere is one of the 26 centers that are now under investigation by the VA.

BEAR, Del. (AP) - A task force studying Delaware's civil mental health laws is finishing up its work in advance of a Jan. 1 deadline for submitting a report with its full findings to the General Assembly and the governor.

Among the issues that have been examined by the task force, which meets Tuesday, are immunity provisions regarding involuntary mental health commitments. The immunity provision were the subject of a task force report that was due earlier this year and which was followed with legislation signed by Gov. Jack Markell in March.

go-getters logo

In Salisbury the Lower Shore Clinic is officially open for business in Salisbury.

It is part of Go-Getters that helps people deal with mental illness. The facility will also provide primary care.

The clinic’s administrator Tuesday Trott told WBOC that people with serious and persistent mental illness tend to die 25 years sooner than most people.

Trott said that rural areas like the Lower Shore Region suffer from not having enough health care providers or psychiatrists.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill expanding the ability of Delaware authorities to prohibit people with mental health issues from having guns has gone down to a stunning defeat in the state Senate.

Senators voted 13-to-6 Thursday to reject the measure, dealing a blow to Attorney General Beau Biden's office, which pushed for its passage. The legislation cleared the House with only one dissenting vote.

The bill was pulled from the Senate agenda Tuesday, but the chief sponsor said he was unaware of any problems prior to its defeat Thursday.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has delayed action on a bill expanding the ability of Delaware authorities to prohibit people with mental health issues from having guns.

Senators adjourned Tuesday without voting on the bill, which establishes a process to keep people declared to be a danger to themselves or others from having access to guns.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill expanding the ability of Delaware authorities to prohibit people with mental health issues from having guns is continuing work its way through the legislature.

The bill, considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, establishes a process to keep a person declared by a court to be a danger to himself or others from having access to guns.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state House committee is eyeing a bill that expands the ability of authorities in Delaware to prohibit people with mental health issues from having guns.

The legislation before the Health and Human Development Committee on Wednesday is aimed at ensuring that people deemed a danger to themselves or others don't have access to guns.

Under current law, a person who has been committed to a hospital or mental health institution for a mental disorder can be prohibited from possessing a gun.

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bill that reforms Delaware's emergency mental health system is about to become law.

Gov. Jack Markell signed a measure Tuesday changing the way emergency mental health screenings are conducted as part of an effort to avoid unnecessary involuntary detentions.