21 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2011
Date Written: February 9, 2011
On April 16, 2007, a deeply disturbed Virginia Tech student murdered 32 fellow students and faculty and then shot himself. Less than one year later, the Virginia legislature improved the emergency evaluation process, modified the criteria for involuntary commitment, tightened procedures for mandatory outpatient treatment, and increased state funding for community mental health services. The unanswered question, however, is whether the necessary political momentum can be sustained for the long-term investment in community services and the fundamental legal changes needed to transform a system focused on managing access to scarce hospital beds to a community-based system of accessible voluntary services.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Bonnie, Richard J. and Reinhard, James S. and Hamilton, Phillip and McGarvey, Elizabeth L., Tragedy and Mental Health System Transformation in Virginia (February 9, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1758862 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1758862