Virginia Mental Health Access Set to Expand

Virginia Mental Health Access Set to Expand

Access to affordable health care is crucial. The launch of the new Virginia mental health program “Beyond Blue” aims to increase said access to mental health care for uninsured residents and those with little to no medical care. With the announcement of this $1.5 million project, Virginians may be able to get the affordable health care they deserve.

With depression and anxiety being common among patients, it is imperative that this program targets these individuals’ needs. Beginning this summer, the two-year initiative will focus on three main areas:

First, the treatment of depression in patients with diabetes. 

Diabetes can cause health complications that may worsen symptoms of depression, making it difficult for patients to make positive lifestyle decisions, such as healthy eating and exercising.

Second, the implementation of a trauma-informed approach to care with a focus on resiliency training.

When people suffer from trauma it must be addressed, and in the right way. Failure to do so can result in long-term physiological effects.

And third, increasing the number of available psychiatric nurse practitioners in Virginia.

Currently, there are only 213 psychiatric nurse practitioners in the state, with three-quarters of the state federally-designated as a “mental health professional shortage area”, as reported by Deborah Oswalt, Virginia Health Care Foundation Executive Director.

 $1.1 million of the $1.5 million total has been raised so far, and with an underwritten $500,000 challenge grant from the Collis-Warner Foundation and $100,000 from a partnership with the Wells Fargo Foundation, this program is on track to reaching its goal.



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