CATAWBA, Va. — Data from health officials in Virginia say the state’s psychiatric hospitals have been operating at 90% capacity or higher for the past three years.
The Daily Press reports Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey is seeking nearly $20 million over the next two years, on top of more than $4 million this year, to add 56 beds at Catawba State Hospital.
Mental health subcommittee chairman Sen. Creigh Deeds disagrees with the proposal. He’s been fighting since his son died in 2013 to increase efforts to help people struggling with mental illness before they need a hospital.
The state legislature has promised more funding for community mental health services. Data from the federal Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration say Virginians get less community care than most Americans.