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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 174 : Mental Health System of Care

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 7251)
  • § 7251. Principles for mental health care reform

    The General Assembly adopts the following principles as a framework for reforming the mental health care system in Vermont:

    (1) The State of Vermont shall meet the needs of individuals with a mental condition or psychiatric disability, including the needs of individuals in the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections, and the State’s mental health system shall reflect excellence, best practices, and the highest standards of care.

    (2) Long-term planning shall look beyond the foreseeable future and present needs of the mental health community. Programs shall be designed to be responsive to changes over time in levels and types of needs, service delivery practices, and sources of funding.

    (3) Vermont’s mental health system shall provide a coordinated continuum of care by the Departments of Mental Health and of Corrections, designated hospitals, designated agencies, and community and peer partners to ensure that individuals with a mental condition or psychiatric disability receive care in the most integrated and least restrictive settings available. Individuals’ treatment choices shall be honored to the extent possible.

    (4) The mental health system shall be integrated into the overall health care system and ensure equal access to appropriate mental health care in a manner equivalent to other aspects of health care as part of an integrated, holistic system of care.

    (5) Vermont’s mental health system shall be geographically and financially accessible. Resources shall be distributed based on demographics and geography to increase the likelihood of treatment as close to the patient’s home as possible. All ranges of services shall be available to individuals who need them, regardless of individuals’ ability to pay.

    (6) The State’s mental health system shall ensure that the legal rights of individuals with a mental condition or psychiatric disability are protected.

    (7) Oversight and accountability shall be built into all aspects of the mental health system.

    (8) Vermont’s mental health system shall be adequately funded and financially sustainable to the same degree as other health services.

    (9) Individuals with a psychiatric disability or mental condition who are in the custody or temporary custody of the Commissioner of Mental Health and who receive treatment in an acute inpatient hospital unit, an intensive residential recovery facility, or a secure residential recovery facility shall be afforded rights and protections that reflect evidence-based best practices aimed at reducing the use of emergency involuntary procedures. (Added 2011, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1a, eff. April 4, 2012; amended 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 101; 2015, No. 21, § 2, eff. May 13, 2015; 2017, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 13.)