Va mental health system improves but gaps remain

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Experts and state officials say Virginia has improved its mental health system since the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007. But funding shortages and other issues remain.

University of Virginia law professor Richard J. Bonnie tells The Daily Progress (http://bit.ly/TfE6Gv ) that mental health care isn't available in most areas for people who can't afford private care. Or, care isn't available in a timely manner.

State House Minority Leader David J. Toscano says the state hasn't been able to keep pace with the need.

Reforms since then include changing the standard for involuntary commitment, and improving and clarifying procedures for mandatory outpatient treatment.

But Bonnie says the system still has a long way to go.

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