HENRICO, V.A. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger will host an open, public telephone town hall on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 focused on behavioral and mental health challenges facing Central Virginians one year into the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will also be livestreamed via video on Spanberger’s website and Facebook page.
During the event, Spanberger will hear questions and concerns directly from Seventh District constituents about how mental health, behavioral health, and addiction issues have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. During the event, she will be joined by Virginia mental health experts, including Lisa Jobe-Shields, Deputy Director, Community Services, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; Dr. Chethan Bachireddy, Chief Medical Officer, Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services; and Dr. F. Gerard Moeller, AVP of Clinical Research and Chair of Addiction Psychiatry, VCU.
Earlier this month, Spanberger voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, which provides an additional $4 billion for the expansion of COVID-19-related behavioral and mental health services.
“For those struggling with mental health challenges and addiction, the extra isolation, financial uncertainty, and hardship caused by the pandemic have exacerbated many of the difficulties they face. Often, the COVID-19 crisis has made it more difficult to access the necessary help and resources that might otherwise be available,” said Spanberger. “This event will be an opportunity for Central Virginians to learn more about current information and resources available to members of our community, as well as to discuss the American Rescue Plan’s provisions to prioritize these issues and tackle them head on. I look forward to hearing from area experts about the trends they’ve seen here in the Commonwealth and how they believe we can build a stronger, community-focused recovery that supports Virginia individuals and families who need a helping hand during this time.”
U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger
Lisa Jobe-Shields, Deputy Director, Community Services, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Dr. Chethan Bachireddy, Chief Medical Officer, Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services
Dr. F. Gerard Moeller, AVP of Clinical Research and Chair of Addiction Psychiatry, VCU
WHEN: 7:05pm-8:05pm ET, Wednesday, March 31, 2021
DETAILS: To join the interactive telephone town hall, constituents should dial in to 855-920-0555. To watch the conversation live, Central Virginians can go to /live or Spanberger’s Facebook page during the event.
Specifically, the American Rescue Plan provides:
- $1.5 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment block grant program,
- $1.5 billion for the Community Mental Health block grant program,
- $420 million for certified community behavioral health clinics,
- $280 million for programs that support mental and behavioral health and prevent burnout among healthcare providers and public safety officers,
- $100 million for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) mental health services, and
- $80 million specifically for the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program at HRSA
Thursday’s telephone town hall will be Spanberger’s 13th free, public telephone town hall since the COVID-19 pandemic began. These events have focused on the impacts of the virus on Central Virginia families, small businesses, students, and seniors. Earlier this month, Spanberger hosted a virtual telephone town hall focused on Virginia’s vaccine progress with Virginia Vaccine Distribution Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula. Click here to watch.