VIRGINIA, USA — Author's note: The video above is on file from a separate story that aired on Dec. 15, 2022.
A majority of Virginians see mental health treatment as an important issue for state lawmakers to address in 2023, new numbers from a statewide poll show.
The poll, a public opinion survey conducted by the company co/efficient and included 598 registered voters, helps give organizations like the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association a better grasp on what issues Virginians want to address.
In fact, 72% of respondents said they believe that improving access to mental health treatment should be a "high priority" for the Virginia General Assembly.
76% of respondents also said they would support bipartisan efforts between the Virginia House of Delegates and the state Senate to approve a recently-proposed $230 million budget plan to enhance and improve mental health access.
That plan was announced by Gov. Glenn Youngkin in December and is called "Right Help, Right Now." You can read more about it by clicking here.
The proposal hopes to bolster behavioral health and treatment programs outside of hospitals for mental health crises, which can create a further strain on already limited healthcare staff.
It aims to use the funds to improve same-day treatment and response, as well as help those who have mental illness connect to resources they need to stay afloat while they receive treatment, including housing.
These majorities included demographics that were unified in their support across gender and political party affiliation, as well.