SB663 (Senate Bill 663) sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) provides for a two year pilot program to offer mental health services on the campuses of four of Virginia’s community colleges. The legislation was modeled on Access Hope’s program at Northern Virginia Community College, the first and only such program providing mental health services on the campus of a community college in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The proposed legislation was introduced in the Virginia Senate’s Education and Health Committee. It was voted out of the Education and Health Committee and sent to the Finance Committee.
Pat Lunt, PhD, Executive Director of Access Hope, and other friends of Access Hope and advocates for mental health services to underserved populations, testified at both Committee hearings. The bill was eventually held over by a sub-committee of the Finance Committee for consideration in the next session, at which time the effort to provide critical mental health care on Virginia’s community college campuses will continue.
Access Hope was pleased to have been selected by the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia as a recipient of one of their 2014 Community Investment grants. The $10,000 grant will be applied to sustaining and expanding our program at Northern Virginia Community College providing access to mental health services to the College’s uninsured students. The grant was one of 36 granted (out of 138 applicants) in the Health, Mental Health and Aging category.
ACCESS Hope was recently awarded a grant from The Mason Hirst Foundation to expand it’s counseling and psychological services (CAPS) center initiatve at Northern Virginia Community College to include the College’s second largest campus in Alexandria. The Mason Hirst Foundation supports a variety of philanthropic educational and health related endeavors. We are indeed greatful to them for their committment to support vital mental health services to young people in our community.
Access Hope recently signed an Agreement with The Women’s Center of Vienna, Virginina to provide therapists for it’s Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) initiative. In 2011, Access Hope established the first ever counseling and psychological services (CAPS) center on the campus of a community college in the State oif Virginia when it opened on NVCC’s main (Annandale) campus. With the help of a grant from The Mason Hirst Foundation, ACCESS Hope has been able to expand its NVCC program to NVCC’s second largest campus in Alexandria.
The Women’s Center now provides a licensed clinical therapist to staff both CAPS centers one day a week. To meet expected demand for these mental health services on campus, ACCESS Hope expects to engage The Women’s Center to also provide a pre-licensed clinical therapist at each of the CAPS centers in the near future.
ACCESS Hope provides these much needed mental health counseling services to uninsured students at the two NVCC campuses.