• The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services support of AD facilitation by public mental health service providers.
  • Advocacy organizations, including NAMI VirginiaVOCALMHAV, and dLCV, are promoting the use of Advance Directives.
  • Advance Directive forms have been developed.
  • Trainings, including Facilitator Training, are given to help share more information about the law.
  • A research study is underway by a team of investigators from the University of Virginia and Duke University to learn more about the use of Advance Directives in Virginia.
  • This website has been created to provide information and resources about Advance Directives.​

Recent History of ADs in Virginia

The Virginia General Assembly revised the Health Care Decisions Act (HCDA) in 2009. The changes were based on recommendations made by the Virginia Supreme Court’s Commission on Mental Health Law Reform. The Commission gathered information and suggestions from different groups around the state.  The Commission’s Task Force on Empowerment and Self Determination made advance directives one of its major focuses.  It made several recommendations about how to expand the state’s HCDA.

Current Project in Virginia

Virginia is working to put the HCDA changes into practice. Key stakeholder groups came up with a consensus-based plan to promote the use of Advance Directives among mental health consumers. This effort was coordinated by the Commission on Mental Health Law Reform during 2010, and is now overseen by a Coordinating Committee for Promoting Use of Advance Directives by People with Mental Illness.

The Coordinating Committee’s members are from private organizations and public agencies around Virginia. Its work includes:

Background and Current Work