Friday, September 07, 2007

Bipartisan call for new VA commitment law

Recent calls for reform echo that of the Virginia Tech reform panel, which recommended the criteria for involuntary commitment be modified to “promote more consistent application of the standard and to allow involuntary treatment in a broader range of cases involving severe mental illness.”

The Roanoke Times noted Virginia's GOP support:
Republican leaders also called for legislation to modify the standard for involuntary commitments to allow more easily the detention of individuals who present a danger to themselves. The change would eliminate the current standard of "imminent danger to self and others" and address a broader range of severe mental illnesses."We want to better clarify the individuals that need the additional mental health services," [Del. Phil] Hamilton said.
A later article from the Associated Press highlighted Democrat support:

Later, Del. Brian J. Moran, leader of the House Democratic Caucus, found no fault with the Republicans' generalized recommendations.

"Reforming the state's mental health system is not a partisan issue," Moran said. "It's incumbent on the legislature to make sure something like the Virginia Tech tragedy never occurs again."