Poll shows Virginians favor statewide investment in mental health care

Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

New statewide polls show widespread, bipartisan support among voters in Virginia for state government action to make significant new investments in expanding access to treatment and services for people with mental health problems. mental health and substance use.

A poll conducted this month by co/efficient found that after hearing the details of a $230 million state budget proposal to improve behavioral health services, 76 percent of respondents expressed support for cooperation between the House of Representatives of Virginia and the state Senate to approve the plan. Support for the proposal is strong across gender groups (77 percent support among women, 74 percent among men), partisan affiliation (78 percent support among Republicans, 77 percent among Democrats, and 74 percent for independents), as well as across age groups. ethnic groups, and in all regions of the Commonwealth.

Virginia is currently ranked 37e among states with access to mental health care, according to Mental Health America’s 2022 rankings. Meanwhile, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the proportion of adults who have received mental health treatment in the past 12 months undergone, each year has increased from 2019-2021. This surge in demand for treatment services occurs as health care providers, including behavioral health providers, continue to struggle with staffing shortages impacting treatment capacity.

In other results, the poll shows that:

  • Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of Virginians surveyed said they believe improving access to behavioral health services should be a “high priority” for the General Assembly, with strong support for legislative action across all ages. -, gender, political and regional groups.
  • 70 percent of polled voters said they were more likely to support the plan because of the proposed withdrawal of funding for more than 30 new mobile crisis teams to respond to calls to Virginia’s 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Hotline to provide urgent help to people in emergency.
  • 72 percent of voters surveyed said they would be more likely to support the plan because it calls for funding to support transportation of mental health patients to ease the burden on police officers who are often required to assist with transporting patients in crisis situations.
  • 77 percent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to support the plan based on an intent to develop more community-based services, improve substance abuse services and strengthen behavioral health staff.
  • And 81 percent said they would be more likely to support the proposal because it is designed to improve access to same-day care for those in need, expand access to telehealth treatments for behavioral health care, and provide housing support for people with severe mental health problems. condition.

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Poll shows Virginians favor statewide investment in mental health care

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