Developing Solutions with Long-Lasting Impact

Rather than focusing on a brief “episode of care” or being satisfied with solutions that bring temporary improvement but do not address the often-multi-faceted causes of life challenges, Partner for Mental Health takes a big-picture approach.

Individualized Support

We believe that, in the absence of things like stable housing, genuine community inclusion, meaningful social support, employment, or adequate income, even the best clinical care is unlikely to facilitate lasting benefits alone.

We partner with you to find meaningful and lasting solutions to life challenges. While we may meet you while you are experiencing a crisis, we are committed to supporting you for as long as it takes for you to meet the goals you set for yourself. Change on this scale can be scary and takes time. We do not set arbitrary benchmarks or limits that define how long you can work with us.

Statewide Advocacy

We are not satisfied with bringing big changes only to those we work with in Charlottesville. On the state level, we have the honor of consulting with elected officials and state agencies to help define and adopt policies designed to create big improvements in mental health outcomes across Virginia. Some of this work includes:

• Criminal justice reform for people with serious mental illness, including advocating for the prohibition of the death penalty and the right to introduce evidence about mental illness as it pertains to alleged offenses

• Virginia Behavioral Health Service System Redesign Project

• Creation of minimum mental health care standards in jails and prisons

• Supporting the use of Medicaid funding to address social determinants of health

• The provision of alternative transportation (other than police transport) for individuals under Temporary Detention Orders

Community Commitment

Additionally, as part of our commitment to increasing the community’s ability to be a place where people with mental illness can live self-directed lives, we engage with the faith community, social groups, schools, and local employers on educational endeavors designed to support community members with mental illness and improve practices and policies that increase inclusivity.

Help Us Decriminalize Mental Illness

Partner for Mental Health is committed to advocating for reforms that stem the tide of the disproportionate number of community members living with mental illness who become entangled in the criminal justice system. Here are two ways you can help amplify our voice.

Group Petition for Clemency

Thanks to a new Virginia law, people with a mental illness or an intellectual or developmental disability are now able to introduce evidence of their condition to determine whether they had the requisite mental state required to prove guilt of a crime. On behalf of the currently incarcerated individuals who were unable to take advantage of this law, we are seeking clemency. Join our fight for justice by signing our group petition for clemency

Reclassification Felony Assault Charges

Each year, hundreds of Virginians are charged with felony assault of an officer because of behavior caused by their mental illness. To provide legislators with greater insight into this issue, we are soliciting stories from Virginians with mental illness or addiction charged with felony assault of an officer during a behavioral health emergency through an online portal. These stories will be shared with legislators as they undertake reform deliberations.