Mental Health Facilities in Virginia Are Struggling With Bed Shortages and Staffing Shortages
If you are looking for a mental health facility in Virginia, you may be surprised to learn that there are many options available. However, the shortage of beds and staffing is not a problem that you have to deal with alone. Whether you are a parent or a teenager, there are several resources available. Here are some of them:
State officials are trying to allocate federal funding to help solve bed shortages at mental health facilities in Virginia. Law enforcement officials have expressed frustration with lengthy wait times and strained resources at many facilities. They are calling this situation a symptom of a broken mental health system. But what can be done to fill the gaps? Here’s a look at the issues at play. Bed shortages can have many consequences, from law enforcement being unable to help vulnerable residents to the patients themselves.
In Virginia, state mental hospitals have severely curtailed admissions due to bed shortages. The problem is affecting both the public and private mental health systems. Advisory committees in Texas reported that there’s a record waiting list for state hospital beds. The problem extends to forensic patients, including those involved in the court system. Last month, the National Guard returned to the state’s largest public psychiatric hospital.
The problem began to worsen in 2014, when Virginia passed a law requiring mental health hospitals to accept patients only as a last resort. The bill was the product of a legislative effort by Sen. Creigh Deeds, who pushed for the bill after his son’s suicide in 2013. The problem has gotten so bad that the governor has passed an executive order pausing the rule. Hospitals will now be able to refuse a patient until a bed is available.
In Virginia, staffing shortages have impacted five out of eight state-run mental health hospitals. In addition to a lack of physician staff, over one hundred front-line behavioral workers are facing layoffs. This problem affects both the public and private health system. In some cases, hospitals are unable to take in patients who need urgent care. In such a scenario, the lack of staffing can lead to delays and even closures.
The Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents in Staunton, Virginia, has been experiencing a 57 percent vacancy in direct patient care positions. In addition, the number of beds available has declined to 18 from the normal number of 48. This has resulted in increased suicide attempts and other behaviors among young patients. The Commonwealth Center also experiences increased levels of aggression and suicidal thoughts. The state’s long-term care facilities are also short on staff.
Virginia’s five state-run mental health hospitals are temporarily halting new admissions because of a severe staffing shortage. Five of the eight hospitals have been forced to cut the bed capacity limit. Adding additional security positions, however, has not led to an increase in pay for clinical staff. Mental health advocates say this is simply a temporary fix. In addition to a decrease in bed capacity, this issue is likely to continue until the volume of patients has dropped enough to address the staffing shortages.
Treatment options for teenagers
When it comes to treatment for teenage depression, Virginia offers numerous choices. Most mental hospitals label these issues with a blanket diagnosis, and the treatment provided is based on that diagnosis. At ViewPoint Center, however, the focus is on the patient. At this Virginia mental health facility, a thorough neurological testing battery is used to establish the underlying causes of a teenager’s problems, and the staff then works to make them feel better.
This facility in Richmond, Virginia, offers several residential programs for teenage patients. There are also many outpatient treatment locations. The program can be gender or age specific, and includes psychiatric care, psychotherapy, and medication assessments. Newport Academy is located in a beautiful neighborhood near a 300-acre nature preserve and an 800-acre park. The center specializes in mental health and substance abuse treatments for teenagers.
The Office of Adolescent Health reports that the state’s children are facing a psychiatric crisis. The state has a high suicide rate and a severe shortage of resources to address this crisis. Virginia has some of the lowest rates of treatment for teenagers with depression. Only one out of four high school students receive treatment for major depression, according to a recent survey. It is crucial that teenagers have access to quality mental health services.