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Commission on Mental Health Law Reform (Concluded)


The Commission on Mental Health Law Reform was appointed by Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell, Sr., of the Supreme Court of Virginia, in October 2006. The Commission was directed to conduct a comprehensive examination of Virginia's mental health laws and services and to study ways to use the law more effectively to serve the needs of people with mental illness, while respecting the interests of their families and communities.

Goals of reform included reducing the need for commitment by improving access to mental health, intellectual/developmental disability and substance abuse services; reducing criminalization of people with mental illness; making the process of involuntary treatment more fair and effective; enabling consumers of mental health services to have more choice over the services they receive, and helping young people with mental health problems and their families before these problems spiraled out of control.

The Commission issued a preliminary report in December 2007 which outlined a blueprint for reform and identified specific priorities for consideration by the 2008 Session of the General Assembly. The Commission issued progress reports in 2008, and 2009.  A final report was not issued. The work of the Commission on Mental Health Law Reform concluded in 2011.  An archive of the Commission's presentations, reports and other documents is maintained on the Supreme Court of Virginia's Commission on Mental Health Law Reform Archive Page.