Next steps in Charlottesville?

February 04, 2015

Voices for Virginia’s Children is pleased to update the Charlottesville community and others with the notes from the Community Conversation about Children’s Mental Health we hosted in December, as well as outline next steps. You can read the full recap here.

Strengths that were mentioned included the relative wealth of resources in the Charlottesville area compared to other areas of the state, particularly rural areas. Strong nonprofits, a CSB that provides an array of children’s services, and collaboration among organizations were cited as strengths. Participants also appreciated that there are organizations in Charlottesville focused on the entire spectrum of interventions, from prevention and early intervention for families through treatment for children with diagnosed mental health disorders.

Even as well-resourced as Charlottesville is, however, every aspect of the continuum has inadequate capacity to meet the need. Challenges fell into several main categories:
– not enough focus on prevention and early intervention;
– a variety of barriers to existing services;
– gaps in services—things that are needed but don’t exist, or which exist but have inadequate capacity to meet the need; and
– a need for citizen advocacy to move the needle on state level policy, according to Sen. Deeds.

So, what do we do next? Voices and the Campaign are very interested in helping regional partners in Charlottesville form a coalition on children’s mental health so that the community can move forward on some of the suggestions made at the Community Conversation. Is your organization willing to be involved? Please email Campaign Coordinator Ashley Everette at ashley@vakids.org.