Psychiatric treatment; revises Psychiatric Inpatient Treatment of Minors Act. (SB65)

Introduced By

Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Psychiatric treatment of minors.  Revises the Psychiatric Inpatient Treatment of Minors Act in order to create a stand alone juvenile commitment act that will be titled the Psychiatric Treatment of Minors Act and to eliminate various cross references to the adult commitment statutes in Title 37.2. The bill incorporates various provisions from the adult commitment statutes, including provisions regarding the transportation of persons in the commitment process, the preparation of preadmission screening reports, and the process for emergency custody and temporary detention orders, into the Act. The bill also revises the appeals process, reducing the time to note an appeal from 30 to 10 days, which is consistent with other appeals from the juvenile and domestic relations district court. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/04/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10102678D
01/04/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/18/2010Assigned Courts sub: Mental Health
01/18/2010Impact statement from DPB (SB65)
02/10/2010Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2010Committee substitute printed 10104897D-S1
02/12/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (37-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2010Read second time
02/15/2010Reading of substitute waived
02/15/2010Committee substitute agreed to 10104897D-S1
02/15/2010Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB65S1
02/15/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2010Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2010Placed on Calendar
02/17/2010Read first time
02/17/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/18/2010Assigned Courts sub: #3 Mental Health
03/01/2010Impact statement from DPB (SB65S1)
03/05/2010Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (6-Y 0-N)
03/08/2010Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/08/2010Committee substitute printed 10105790D-H1
03/09/2010Read second time
03/09/2010Constitutional reading dispensed BLOCK VOTE (96-Y 0-N)
03/09/2010VOTE: --- AGREE TO (96-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/09/2010Motion to reconsider constitutional reading dispensed agreed to
03/09/2010Constitutional reading dispensed BLOCK VOTE (94-Y 0-N)
03/09/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION #2 (94-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/09/2010Committee substitute agreed to 10105790D-H1
03/09/2010Amendment by Delegate Kilgore agreed to
03/09/2010Engrossed by House - committee substitute with amendment SB65H1
03/09/2010Passed House with substitute with amendment BLOCK VOTE (95-Y 0-N)
03/09/2010VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (95-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2010House substitute with amendment agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2010Title replaced 10105790D-H1
03/22/2010Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB65ER)
03/22/2010Signed by Speaker
03/23/2010Impact statement from DPB (SB65ER)
03/25/2010Signed by President
04/13/2010Governor's recommendation received by Senate
04/20/2010Placed on Calendar
04/21/2010Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/21/2010House concurred in Governor's recommendation (94-Y 0-N)
04/21/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION (94-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/21/2010G Governor's recommendation adopted
04/21/2010Reenrolled bill text (SB65ER2)
04/21/2010Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
04/21/2010Signed by President as reenrolled
04/21/2010Enacted, Chapter 778 (effective 7/1/10)
04/21/2010G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0778)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 1 minute.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB248.


Susan Lawrence writes:

Why would we give children, who have most probably just been heavily medicated, perhaps for the first time in their young lives, less time to appeal a psychiatric placement. 10 days is not even enough time to know if the medication is working. 10 days is not even enough time for the crisis situation to settle down. The physician is actually not even required to have begun providing services withint 10 days. The is not an appeal consistent with other juvenile orders for visitation or truancy. A child in a crisis, psychiatric situation is worthy of just a few more days to have someone stand up for them and question their placement. From personal experience as an adoptive parent I can share that if a child refuses services, medication, etc. they are isolated until they agree, they are not released, especially from for-profit psychiatric facilities. My son was denied his meals until he took his medication by one the supposedly best non-profit private providers in the state.

Susan Lawrence writes:

It is horrifying to imagine any child being locked up with only 10 days to appeal their commitment. Even more frightening to realize a private institution could request or push this issue on a child/family. This bill could benefit Psychiatric Solutions Inc. as they complete their monopoly game of taking over Virginia's mental health accute services and residential services. As PSI takes over acute care facilities in the state (i.e. CCCA for juveniles) this bill will allow PSI to quickly pipeline adults and children into their facilities and allow any possibility of appeal to expire while the child or adult in still dealing with a crisis situation. This is not a denial of assistance or services during a daily event or life. A commitment occurs during a crisis situation which will not have even begun to settle down or be appropriately treated within 10 days. PSI is not competent to provide the therapeutic services needed by Virginia's children and adults. Please look at this one (of many) report regarding the dangers and deaths faced by PSI patients all across Virginia.
Take a look at the size of PSI in Virginia - some dots represent 3-4 facilities-
Please do not change the time frame for an appeal from 30 to 10. Please leave it at 30 to allow the patient to stabilize.

Lorelle M. DeStefano writes:

I am in favor of separation of the adult and minors processes by which they are admitted and treated for severe mental illness. However, the appeals process holds many concerns for me. Being in the mental health field has given me the opportunity to see first hand some of the issues that arise with only a 10 day appeals process. The main concern is that some minors that are placed in a psychiatric facility for treatment come from low socioecominic circumstances either at or below poverty level. This means that their parents and/or guardians may not have the resources available to complete the appeals process in the required amount of time, particularly in rural areas. Indeed, some of these psychiatric facilities can be 50 miles away or in another state entirely and those without transportation would have no alternative but to accept the placement. Another concern is that the stabilization process can be a long and complicated one. Should the minor be misdiagnosed or improperly medicated that could increase the time of stabilization. For that reason, by the time stabilization occurs the allotted appeal time most likely would have passed leaving parents, guardians, and/or minors with no recourse.

I appreciate that you and other legislators are faced with difficult
choices. I urge you, though, to maintain the allotted time for appeals process of 30 days instead of the proposed 10 for the children and families in Virginia.