Lawmakers’ work starts on mental hospital staffing shortage

Virginia State Capitol.
Virginia State Capitol.((Source: Capital News Service))
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 9:02 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia’s behavioral health commissioner told lawmakers Thursday about the spending she says is needed to make facilities safer after admissions were halted at five state hospitals amid a staffing shortage, including $75 million for salaries and pay increases.

Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Commissioner Alison Land told members of a subcommittee created in 2014 to study and improve mental health services, that the “safety net is no longer safe.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Land says she wants to minimize the time that admissions are closed.

The department will use $25 million in emergency funding to bring out-of-state contract staff to hospitals where admissions are currently halted and for employee bonuses that Land hopes will be effective in August.

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Send it to 12 here.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.