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Telemental Health Program Expands

A statewide program to improve access to mental health services in Virginia for vulnerable patients expands.

Virginia's lagging access to mental health services is got a boost with the recent expansion of the Virginia Telemental Health Initiative, a pro bono program 
offering counseling services in partnership with the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. “This innovative program addresses a critical need across the Commonwealth, particularly for Virginians whose income levels put vital mental health services out of reach,” said Nelson Smith, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services (DBHDS), a key supporter of the initiative. “VTMHI reflects our underlying commitment toward ensuring the most vulnerable and overlooked populations in Virginia have access to the highest quality care, including in the critical realm of mental health services." 

VTHMI provides services virtually through a telehealth arrangement to enrolled patients at participating free and charitable clinics. Since launching in January of 2023, the program now works with the following clinics: 
  • ADAMS Compassionate Healthcare Network (Chantilly)
  • Augusta Regional Dental Clinic (Fishersville)
  • Bradley Free Clinic (Roanoke) 
  • Brock Hughes Medical Center (Wytheville) 
  • Charlottesville Free Clinic 
  • CrossOver Healthcare Ministry (Richmond)
  • Culmore Clinic (Falls Church)
  • Fauquier Free Clinic (Warrenton)
  • Free Clinic of Culpeper
  • Free Clinic of Franklin County (Rocky Mount)
  • Free Clinic of Powhatan  
  • GoochlandCares
  • Greene Care Clinic (Stanardsville)
  • Health Brigade (Richmond) 
  • Ledwith-Lewis Free Clinic (Tappahannock)
  • Mother of Mercy Medical Clinic (Woodbridge)
  • Ohlen R. Wilson Health Center (Galax)
  • Page Free Clinic (Luray)
  • Shenandoah Community Health Clinic (Woodstock)
  • Sinclair Heath Clinic (Winchester)

“Virginia's network of free and charitable clinics provides an important safety net of holistic health care services to many underserved populations across the Commonwealth who lack health insurance or who are underinsured,” said Rufus Phillips, CEO of VAFCC. “As a VTMHI partner, we are pleased to serve as the critical link between patients and providers in this important work to combat the rising need in behavioral health, helping our free and charitable clinics deliver the kind of mental health services that can change people's lives.”

The program not only benefits patients in need today, but also sets up a broader provider base that is lacking in Virginia. Providers are pre-licensed volunteers who have completed their graduate level courses and are in the process of completing their clinic licensure requirements. Through this process, these volunteers will be earning supervised clinical hours as well as free training. 

For more information about eligibility requirements and how Virginia residents can access mental health services through VTMHI, visit https://virginiatelementalhealth.org/accesscare/.

For more information about VTMHI, visit https://virginiatelementalhealth.org/.

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