State to decide on spending to improve mental health care

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) – State officials say Virginia’s “dangerously” full psychiatric hospitals are overwhelmed by staff shortages, a situation that has long plagued hospitals and only worsened during the pandemic.

However, the Washington Post reports that lawmakers and policy experts are hoping that pandemic relief funds can help bring about systematic changes that unblock inpatient beds and develop community services to keep people out of hospitals in the first place.

When the General Assembly convenes again in August, it will decide how to spend the roughly $ 4 billion Virginia will get from the US bailout plan.

A joint subcommittee dealing with mental health services prepares recommendations on how to use the funds in time for the meeting.

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