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The Who, What, and How of VACSBs

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Community Services Boards (CSBs) and their board members play a significant role in the determination and oversight of mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services within their communities. CSBs are predominately located in Virginia but can also be found in a small selection of states where they provide a unique approach to quality public and private services.

What is the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards and what services do they provide?  

CSBs are the single point of entry for the Virginia public mental health system. The Virginia Association of Community Services Boards (VACSB) represents the CSBs and Behavioral Health Authorities (BHA) who provide the premier mental health, intellectual disability, and substance use disorder services management and delivery in Virginia’s Communities. There are 39 CSBs in Virginia that work to achieve the goal of an effective, publicly-funded system of quality public and private services that are responsive to the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. With this goal in mind, VACSBs aim to ameliorate and prevent disabling conditions by promoting independence, recovery, and behavioral health, and by educating the public about the needs of individuals with mental disabilities. Some of CSBs major areas of focus include public policy issues like state and federal funding, legislation, and regulation; training and development on information technology service delivery models; and annual conferences for all CSB and BHA members.

Who receives these services?

With help from the VACSB, CSB and BHA staff can respond to the needs of their local communities. Some of the community needs are:

  • Effectively treating individuals with substance use disorders.
  • Responding to psychiatric emergencies, 24 hours a day.
  • Supporting the efforts of schools, departments of social services, law enforcement agencies, and courts in a coordinated manner.
  • Offering opportunities for occupational and residential independence for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
  • Preventing further incidence of mental illness, intellectual disability, and substance use disorders.
  • Enabling children and youth with mental illness, intellectual disability, and substance use disorders to remain in their homes, schools, and communities.

How is this support delivered?  

By building relationships with legislators and advocates for positive legislation and resources for services, the VACSB is able to deliver support to those in need. Through various engaging public education activities like workshops, e-learning, and other trainings, the VACSB can help the community understand the needs of children and adults with mental illness or substance use disorders. It can also educate the public on the abilities and contributions made to their communities by these individuals.


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