Virginia Medicaid Members Now Have More Behavioral Health Treatment Options

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Young Americans are facing a mental health crisis, but help has arrived for members of Virginia Medicaid.

As of December 1, 2021, Virginia Medicaid members get access to six new behavioral health services that strengthen crisis response, respond to a national emergency in children’s mental health care and provide new supports for people with developmental disabilities.

The new services covered by Medicaid are:

  • Multisystem therapy: Intensive family and community treatment for youth aged 11-18 with significant disruptive behaviors and substance use disorders.
  • Functional family therapy: Short-term treatment for young people aged 11-18 with significant disruptive behaviors who have been referred by the juvenile justice, behavioral health, school or child welfare systems.
  • Mobile response in the event of a crisis: 24/7 rapid response, assessment and early intervention for people facing a behavioral health crisis.
  • Community stabilization: Short-term support for people who have recently needed emergency services or need help avoiding escalation to more intensive treatment models.
  • 23-hour seizure stabilization: Up to 23 hours of crisis stabilization services in a community setting for people facing an acute behavioral health emergency.
  • Residential crisis stabilization unit: Short-term, 24/7 residential assessment and intervention for psychiatric and substance abuse crises. This new service allows some people to avoid hospitalization and offers progressive support to others who require hospitalization.

Related Coverage: Launch of Marcus Alert Systems Reforming Mental Health Crisis Response in Five Regions

Services are key steps in Virginia’s response to increasing rates of mental health issues and youth suicide. Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared children’s mental health a national emergency.

“These essential services will transform the way Virginians receive care when they are in crisis,” Governor Ralph Northam said. “When people can get treatment, especially in their own communities, they are less likely to reach a point of crisis and less likely to need hospital care.”

The six new services, along with the Marcus Alert launched in parts of the state on Tuesday, are part of a larger plan to transform the behavioral health system in Virginia.

Medicaid members who wish to learn more should contact their primary care provider or behavioral health specialist.


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