A Wish List for Mental Health Reform

Jan 7, 2013

Until a few weeks ago it looked like funding cuts were on their way for Virginia’s mental health programs... then came the tragedy in Connecticut.

Now there is talk of more money for mental health.

But how much more, and what kind of improvements are needed most?

Richard “Dickie” Bell 
- Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing the 20th District, which includes the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro; the county of Highland; plus portions of Augusta and Nelson counties.  Member of the House of Delegates Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions.

Richard J. Bonnie, LL.B. Chair, Virginia Commission on Mental Health Law Reform. Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law, and Professor of Psychiatric Medicine at the University of Virginia, as well as Director of U.Va.'s Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy.

Margaret Nimmo Crowe - Director of Policy at Voices for Virginia's Children. Coordinator for the Campaign for Children’s Mental Health. Former chair of a regional Community Services Board (

CSB). In Virginia, CSBs are the agencies charged with providing mental health services at the local level.