About the “Right Help Right Now” Program in Virginia…

Twenty-four new bills were recently signed into law in Virginia to facilitate a transformational three-year plan to finally fix Virginia’s inadequate and overburdened behavioral health care system. In the past, many Virginians have suffered in crisis, battled substance use disorders, and gone without access to the urgent care they needed. This comprehensive approach is built on six pillars, sets clear and achievable three-year goals, and includes immediate action to get people the “right help, right now.” The state’s revised budget includes over $230 million in new funding, including an initiative to fully-fund 30+ new mobile-crises teams across the Commonwealth so Virginians who call the “9-8-8” hotline can receive the care they need.


Together, we can fundamentally change the Commonwealth’s approach to behavioral health and substance use disorders. We can go from a slow evolution to an accelerated revolution by scaling a three-year transformational plan. For the first time ever, we will look comprehensively at the entirety of our system and set achievable targets that will improve outcomes – making sure people who need it most get the right help, right now.


To drive this initiative over $230 million in new funding will be made available. This is a giant step forward when combined with the funding appropriated in the last budget—bringing the commitment to over $660 million in next fiscal year. The budget includes:

  • $20 million to fund 30+ new mobile crisis units, meeting our statewide goal in the first year, to
    respond to 9-8-8 hotline calls
  • $58 million to increase the number of Crisis Receiving Centers and Crisis Stabilization Units, fullyfunding the number of necessary centers in Southwest Virginia and Hampton Roads
  • $15 million to expand the elementary, middle, and high school-based mental health program to dozens of new communities
  • $9 million to expand tele-behavioral health services in public schools and on college campuses
  • $20 million for partnerships with hospitals for alternatives to emergency departments for crisis
  • $9 million for transportation and in-hospital monitoring by law enforcement and other personnel
  • $8 million for Serious Mental Illness housing, creating 100 new placements for SMI patients with extraordinary barriers to discharge
  • $57 million for 500 additional Medicaid Waiver Priority 1 Waitlist Slots and increased provider rates
  • $15 million in opioid abatement initiatives including a campaign to reduce fentanyl poisoning among our youth


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