Virginia halts admissions at short-staffed mental hospitals

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia temporarily closed admissions at five mental hospitals Friday amid a staffing crisis.

Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Commissioner Alison Land says the move will allow hospitals to reduce the number of patients through attrition, not discharges, until there are enough employees to care for patients safely.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that five of the state’s eight facilities for adults are affected. Land says 63 patients and employees have been injured at the state’s mental hospitals since July 1 because of the shortage.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents, the state’s only psychiatric facility for youth, is operating only 18 of its 48 beds because it doesn’t have enough employees to care for more.

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