March 2, 2023
Oakton, Virginia: March 2, 2023— The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is collaborating with 17 other philanthropic foundations from throughout Virginia to provide funding for expanded REACH behavioral health trainings for primary care providers treating children, adolescents and young adults across the Commonwealth. More than $170,000 has been contributed by these foundations in an effort to address the growing need for improved access to mental health care.

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia President and CEO Eileen Ellsworth commented on the collaboration, saying, “The Community Foundation is grateful to be part of this collaborative from around the Commonwealth, working together to support efforts to address mental health. We believe partnership across organizations is a key way to address the breadth of mental health challenges facing our children and communities.”

The primary goal of the Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP) is to ensure better mental health for children. Through education initiatives, training, and access to specialists, primary care providers are better equipped to screen, diagnose, manage, and treat mental health, ensuring better quality of life for children and their families. VMAP will coordinate two REACH trainings serving up to 80 primary care providers. These intensive three-day, 16-hour interactive courses for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are focused on building skills and confidence in diagnosing and treating pediatric behavioral health problems. Following course completion, they participate in bi-monthly calls with national primary care and child/adolescent psychiatry experts to address cases in their daily practices.

The VMAP program is administered by the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation (MSVF) through a contract with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Melina Davis, CEO of MSV & Executive Director of MSVF shared, “To have the philanthropic community come together in support of this work has been incredible. We’re hopeful that the impact of these trainings will benefit all of Virginia by improving education and resources for youth mental health.”

According to Fairfax pediatrician and VMAP Founder, Dr. Sandy Chung, “Our foundation partners responded quickly in a meaningful way to help us address pediatric behavioral health needs - needs that are growing exponentially, outpacing the availability of mental health providers. The pandemic worsened a youth mental health crisis that was already present. We now have more young people than ever before suffering from anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm. With VMAP, primary care providers can be prepared with the best information to help children and their families right away."

Participating foundations include:

The Alleghany Foundation
The Annabella Jenkins Foundation
Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation
Claude Moore Charitable Foundation
Community Foundation for greater Richmond
Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Culpeper Wellness Foundation
Danville Regional Foundation
The Harvest Foundation
Northern Piedmont Community Foundation
Northern Virginia Health Foundation
PATH Foundation
Potomac Health Foundation
Richmond Memorial Health Foundation
Virginia Health Care Foundation
Wellspring Foundation of Southwest Virginia
Williamsburg Health Foundation

For more information about The Virginia Mental Health Assistance Program and REACH visit: