Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rally: Coalition for Virginians with Mental Disabilities

For Immediate Release--January 20, 2012                
Contact:  Jamie Liban, 804-649-8481, ext. 101

Coalition for Virginians with Mental Disabilities will hold Rally at State Capitol on Monday, Jan. 21.

The Coalition for Virginians with Mental Disabilities will hold a rally on Monday, January 21, 2013, from 10:30am-11:30am at the Capitol Square Bell Tower in Richmond, VA.  Hundreds of people with disabilities, family members, service providers and concerned citizens from across the Commonwealth are anticipated to be in attendance at the event.  Several legislators are expected to deliver remarks to the crowd. 

The Coalition serves as a united voice for Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders.  Rally participants will urge members of the Virginia General Assembly to preserve and improve access to services that promote inclusion, recovery, independence and community-integration for people with disabilities.

The Coalition will remind legislators that Virginia can strengthen community services and save scarce dollars.  Advocates stress that investing in community-based services for people with disabilities prevents institutionalization, reduces instances of expensive hospitalization and avoids needless and costly intersections with the public safety system.  Such community-based services are essential in order to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision.

The Coalition for Virginians with Mental Disabilities Legislative Agenda is attached (MY NOTE: below on this blog).

For more information about Monday’s rally, please contact Jamie Liban, Executive Director of The Arc of Virginia,
at  or (804) 649-8481, ext. 101.

Members of the Coalition for Virginians with Mental Disabilities include:  Mental Health America of Virginia · NAMI Virginia · Brain Injury Association of Virginia · People First of Virginia · Psychiatric Society of Virginia · Substance Abuse & Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia (SAARA) · The Arc of Virginia · VaACCSES · Virginia Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists · Virginia Federation of Families · Virginia Network of Private Providers (VNPP) · Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership (VOCAL) · Virginia Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association · Virginia Rehabilitation Association ·Commonwealth Autism Service, Inc. Virginia Advocates United Leading Together (VAULT) ·  Virginia Alliance of Brain Injury Service Providers
Preserve and improve access to essential community services that promote:
·           Recovery and Independence
·           Early intervention
·        Inclusion
·           Self-determination
·           Prevention
·        Community integration

Virginia must invest in community-based services for people with disabilities to reduce unnecessary and expensive inpatient hospitalization and state facility placements and avoid inappropriate and costly involvement with the public safety system. Virginia can strengthen community services and save scarce dollars. 

A prime strategy is to expand Medicaid to 138% of FPL which requires service delivery and payment reform. 

What You Can Ask the General Assembly to Do

For children, youth, and their families:

      FUND elimination of the FY14 deficit for Part C developmental services for infants and toddlers with disabilities to eliminate current waiting lists and service limitations.
      PREVENT unneeded hospitalization of children and youth by supplementing regional childrens crisis response created through FY 13 General Assembly appropriation.
       SUPPORT restoration of rates for intensive in-home, therapeutic day treatment, and Residential A and B for children with severe emotional disturbances and at risk of being moved into an out-of-home placement.
       FUND effective programs to prevent high risk behaviors among youth including drug/alcohol abuse, teen drop-out, teen pregnancy and youth violence.

For Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities:

       SUPPORT funding for an additional 1,100 Intellectual Disability (ID) Waivers and 250 Developmental Disability (DD) Waivers for FY14.
       SUPPORT funding to provide support services to 1,000 Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
       SUPPORT budget language to allow cost neutral remedies for units of services for Home and Community-Based Waiver Skilled Nursing services.
       SUPPORT higher reimbursement rates for residential services for individuals with complex medical or behavioral needs.
       STRIKE proposal to reduce the income limit for optional Medicaid eligibility group with income up to 300% of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to 267% of SSI.

SUPPORT implementation of Employment First for ALL Virginians with disabilities.

       SUPPORT maintenance of designated general funds for the state match of 20% to draw a federal match of 80% for vocational rehabilitation services to employ Virginians with disabilities.
       INCREASE funding for employment supports (LTESS/EES) for Virginians with disabilities so that they can maintain employment in the community and become self-supporting tax-paying citizens.

For Virginians with mental health conditions, substance use disorder, and/or brain injury:

·       SUPPORT funding and policies for drug treatment courts to divert non-violent, substance abusing- offenders from prison and into treatment.
       SUPPORT increased funding for recovery-focused services for Virginians with substance use disorder to include enhanced case management and outpatient services, increased number and availability of detoxification and residential treatment services, peer recovery support, supported housing, and employment.
       SUPPORT intensive recovery-focused services, including peer services, employment and housing supports for Virginians with serious mental illness to avoid hospitalization and/or incarceration.
       SUPPORT funding for the development of additional local Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs as well as for expansion of law enforcement drop-off capacity to foster CIT efforts. 
       SUPPORT increased funding for Discharge Assistance Program (DAP) services to expedite transition of Virginians eligible for discharge from psychiatric hospitals to community-based services and housing.
       SUPPORT the proposed $1,000,000 in FY14 to reduce chronic homelessness through the creation of permanent supportive housing.
       REINVEST Medicaid savings into additional services and adequate rates for Medicaid community mental health services.  
       INCREASE funding for brain injury services to secure infrastructure, address existing waiting lists, update data systems, and improve outreach and technical assistance services for Virginians with brain injury, including veterans and wounded warriors.
       SUPPORT funding and budget language to develop an in-state neurobehavioral treatment program to eliminate the current practice of costly out-of-state placement
       FUND three new regional gero-psychiatric projects and enhance two existing regional projects to provide appropriate, immediate and effective crisis services and expand alternatives for post-acute care assistance in their home community and avoid psychiatric hospital or nursing home placement.


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