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Behavioral Health Advisory Council



The Virginia Behavioral Health Advisory Council will meet on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 from 10 AM to 3 PM in the conference room at the offices of NAMI Virginia, located at 2104 W. Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227. The public is invited to attend.

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Mission and Objectives

The mission of the Virginia Behavioral Health Advisory Council is to advocate for a consumer-driven system of services and supports that promotes self-determination, empowerment, recovery, resilience, health, and the highest possible level of consumer participation in all aspects of community life including work, school, family and other meaningful relationships.

The Council serves as the primary, ongoing forum for articulating and building a consensus among consumers, families, advocates, providers, planners and state agencies; which will ensure a system of treatment, services and support of high quality care for children, adults, and elders who suffer from serious emotional disturbances, serious mental illnesses, and substance abuse.

The Council annually reviews all expenditures and budgets in the state system for mental health and substance abuse services to satisfy the federal mandate that monies spent do not conflict with the restrictions of the federal mandate. This review includes the Federal Block Grant Application and the Mental Health Plan(s) of Virginia, as expressed in the Performance Partnership Plan. Additionally, the Council reviews all other plans developed by the state that will impact mental health and substance abuse consumers; including—but not limited to—the state's six year Comprehensive State Plan and the Community Services Performance Contract.

The Council continuously monitors, evaluates and reviews the implementation of the Commonwealth’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Plans including: 

a.  the allocation, adequacy and quality of mental health and substance abuse services to children with serious emotional and mental disorders and adults with serious mental illness;

b.  the congruence between existing services and the Commonwealth's stated values, priorities and goals;

c.  the plan’s impact on improving the quality of life for Virginia’s mental health and substance abuse consumers and their families; and

d.  direct observation, visitation, and interviews with consumers, family members and advocates; with regard to the programs, facilities, and human rights provisions of the state.

The Council makes recommendations to the various departments and agencies serving or funding services for consumers and their families, including, but not limited to, the Commissioner and the Board of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Council monitors the activities of, and makes recommendations to, state Executive and Legislative Committees whose actions affect consumers and their families.

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Contact Us

For further information about the Council, please contact Rhonda Thissen in the DBHDS Office of Mental Health Services by email at, or by phone at 804-786-2316.

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