Spring 4-29-2020

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Cooperman, Rosalyn

Second Advisor

Farnsworth, Stephen

Department Chair or Program Director

Kramer, Jack

Degree Name

Bachelor of Liberal Studies

Major or Concentration

Political Science

Department or Program

Political Science and International Affairs


This thesis studies the historic development of mental health care in the Commonwealth of Virginia and conducts a detailed examination of the mandated mental health services provided by the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB). To conduct this review, the mental health services provided by RACSB were compared with two other Community Services Boards (CSBs), the Loudoun County CSB and the Dickenson County CSB. Results show the importance of community health care and jail diversion programs when compared with the historic mental health care methods of institutionalization and imprisonment. Results also show that health care in Virginia is operated out of highly individualized CSBs and that the quality of care received varies depending on the CSB. Additionally, results show that the ability of RACSB to provide mental health care is constrained by funding and geography. This thesis emphasizes the need for more access to quality community mental health care in Virginia and the need to reform the distribution of funds within the Virginia Community Services Boards system.