Get Help

For people seeking support with mental health, finding a warmline, and locating resources in your community.

Peer Run Warm Line

Línea de apoyo de MHV, atendida y administrada por pares

Addiction Recovery Support Warm Line

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Screenings

DIY Tools

Probation Peer Support

Get Information

For people wanting information about Virginia mental health legislation and policy, as well as in-person trainings and webinars to help understand, improve and maintain your mental health.

Latest News


Recovery Education

Facilitator Training

Peer Leadership Training

Trauma-Informed Resilience Training

On Demand Webinars

Virginia PRS Network

Get Involved

For people looking to get involved with mental health outreach, advocate for policy reform in the mental and behavioral health field, and support our mission to improve the mental health of all Virginians. 


Virginia Behavioral Health Advisory Council

Ways to Give


In Memoriam

Victory for Mental Health

About Us

Mental Health Virginia is the oldest mental health advocacy organization in Virginia.

Annual Reports

Virginia Affiliates

Contact Us

Virginia State Budget: School-Based Mental Health Integration Program

Written by Bruce Cruser

Bruce Cruser has been Executive Director of Mental Health Virginia since 2016, bringing a background in social work and community corrections, and many years of leadership experience in local and state government.

February 25, 2022

By Carly Ward, MSW Intern

            Virginia’s school children are experiencing unprecedented mental health challenges. To help address this need, the Virginia Senate just adopted a budget amendment from Senator Jennifer McClellan to fund a school-based mental health integration program. The proposal, if agreed to by the House of Delegates, would go into effect during the 2023 and 2024 fiscal school year. It would provide $10,000,000 over two years to DBHDS (Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services) and partners to aid school divisions in Virginia. The assistance would allow both public and private community-based providers to make much needed mental health services available for students. These funds could potentially enhance the school’s ability to provide services and programming to students that may have originally been beyond the scope of the school-based personnel. So, what’s the catch?

            When looking at the potential impact of these funds, it is impressive to imagine how many doors can be opened with that kind of money; however, this is a set amount allocated to the whole state, meaning that not every school in the state can benefit from it, nor may some even see it. In order to obtain a portion of the money, schools must show a need for it, as well as the services it is going to potentially provide. Schools can apply through the grant process, showing where there is a deficit and potential need for services. Unfortunately, the need for services can arguably be more applicable in higher grades, such as middle or high school, so it could potentially lead to elementary schools being left out or forgotten about until later on in the process. Hopefully, the end goal would be to show that these services are warranted, eventually leading to more funds being set aside for these types of programs. The more money, the more opportunity for a larger number of schools to participate.

             The idea of creating funds that allow schools to partner with outside based mental health organizations within the community makes it possible for more mental health services to be integrated into the schools. However, the limited amount also creates challenges when it comes to deciding who has the greatest need for the services. Over the course of the two-year period that funds would be available, it is vital that outcomes be measured to demonstrate the value to children of providing the services. This would potentially support advocacy to continue funding this approach to support children’s mental health, and to expand services to children in elementary schools.

You May Also Like…

We are now Mental Health Virginia

We are now Mental Health Virginia

“Mental Health Virginia” - We’ve shortened our name, but not our mission. There’s a lot going on this May for Mental...

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Embarking on new journeys, whether it's starting an internship, a new school environment, or diving into a new job,...