First responders; mental health education and training. (HB1222)

Introduced By

Del. Vivian Watts (D-Annandale) with support from co-patron Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Mental health education and training for first responders. Directs the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to develop and implement a program of education and training for local law-enforcement personnel, emergency medical services personnel, and other first responders that addresses the signs and symptoms of mental illness and ways law-enforcement personnel, emergency medical services personnel, and other first responders can assist individuals experiencing mental health crises. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/17/2014Presented and ordered printed 14103259D
01/17/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/21/2014Assigned Courts sub: Mental Health
01/29/2014Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (10-Y 0-N)
02/03/2014Committee substitute printed 14104597D-H1
02/03/2014Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2014Read first time
02/06/2014Passed by until Monday, February 10, 2014
02/10/2014Read second time
02/10/2014Committee substitute agreed to 14104597D-H1
02/10/2014Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1222H1
02/11/2014Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (99-Y 0-N)
02/11/2014VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2014Constitutional reading dispensed
02/12/2014Referred to Committee on Rules
02/21/2014Reported from Rules with substitute (15-Y 0-N)
02/21/2014Committee substitute printed 14105246D-S1
02/24/2014Impact statement from DPB (HB1222H1)
02/24/2014Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)
02/25/2014Read third time
02/25/2014Reading of substitute waived
02/25/2014Committee substitute agreed to 14105246D-S1
02/25/2014Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HB1222S1
02/25/2014Passed Senate with substitute (40-Y 0-N)
02/26/2014Placed on Calendar
02/27/2014Senate substitute agreed to by House 14105246D-S1 (98-Y 0-N)
02/27/2014VOTE: ADOPTION (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/04/2014Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1222ER)
03/04/2014Signed by Speaker
03/07/2014Signed by President
03/07/2014Impact statement from DPB (HB1222ER)
04/04/2014G Approved by Governor-Chapter 601 (effective 7/1/14)
04/04/2014G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0601)


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 4 minutes.


Carol Lindstrom writes:

This could be one of the biggest expense saving bills to hit the books in a while as far as I am concerned. Having personnel trained to manage the situation will reduce the number of responders required to be there. It will help to prevent needless trips to an emergency room when there is not a true medical emergency. Additionally, it will help to insure that people are getting the RIGHT treatment for their situation, not being bounced from agency to agency, where they could get lost in the shuffle. Over the years, I have worked as an EMT, a Paramedic, a Child Abuse Investigator, and a Counselor in a Forensic Mental Health Facility. All of that experience tells me that this is a great opportunity to both save taxpayer money, increase public safety, and provide the most appropriate care as quickly as possible for patients. The only concern I would have would be in the development, quality, and implementation of training (including ongoing updates and reviews). If passed, it would be the training that causes problems, not the intent of the law.