For Immediate Release

Contact: Martha Mead, DMHMRSAS, 786-9048
Stacey Atwell, DMHMRSAS, 786-1332

Virginia Awarded $3.5 Million Grant for Substance Abuse Services

The Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services has been awarded a competitive grant to develop services for people with both mental illness and substance use disorders. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded Virginia $3,500,000 over a five-year period.

Commissioner James S. Reinhard said, “Experts estimate that over half of people with alcohol and drug addictions also have a mental illness. If both disorders are not adequately addressed in treatment, the person is much less likely to recover from either disorder.” The federal funds will support development of procedures for screening and assessment of persons seeking services, and staff training for the forty community services boards that provide publicly funded treatment throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, the grant will support a service pilot based at the Central Virginia Community Services Board in Lynchburg that serves the cities of Bedford and Lynchburg, and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell. Eleven other community services boards will also participate in the service pilot.

The pilot programs will provide crisis stabilization services, including psychiatric assessment and treatment, as well as medical detoxification services and specialized case management. The Department will establish an advisory committee of consumers, families and professionals who will actively participate in designing specific services for the pilot program.