The Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP) is a statewide initiative that supports healthcare professionals who care for children and adolescents with mental health conditions. We strive to improve the behavioral health outcomes of youth by offering high-quality provider education, as well as, increasing access to child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and care navigators.


VMAP recognizes there is not equitable access to behavioral healthcare. We are committed to mitigating these disparities and working towards infusing behavioral health equity into our work to ensure all providers across the state and the youth they serve can benefit from VMAP.


To this end, VMAP is developing an Equity Advisory Committee to help broaden our perspectives, strengthen our outreach and advocate for underserved populations. The Equity Advisory Committee will advance policies and develop programming that intentionally promotes racial, economic and access equity within VMAP services and beyond.  The Equity Advisory Committee will:

·        Advise VMAP’s executive committee on policy decisions to ensure they have equitable impact.

·        Assist in expanding and diversifying VMAP regional stakeholder and provider membership.

·        Develop metrics using program data to monitor progress and track success.



VMAP is currently seeking 10-12 members to join the Equity Advisory Committee through nomination or self-nomination. Please consider joining us if you meet the following qualifications:

  • Work, advocate or have experience with youth behavioral health.

  • Dedicated to equity in mental health access and the improvement of behavioral health outcomes of Virginia’s diverse youth.

  • Possess an understanding of the barriers to behavioral healthcare for youth and the gaps in knowledge among Virginia’s behavioral healthcare workforce.

  • Commit to meeting bi-monthly for 2 years


Specifically, we are looking for members with expertise in:

(experience in one or more of these areas is preferred but not required)


  • Pediatric behavioral health

  • Pediatric primary care

  • Behavioral healthcare workforce training and administration

  • Social work and care coordination/navigation in behavioral healthcare

  • Policy makers in the behavioral health or child welfare field

  • Epidemiology and data analytics

  • Consumers (currently 18+) of behavioral healthcare as a youth

  • Family members of youth in the behavioral healthcare system

  • Advocates for underserved youth & mental health


The application/nomination should highlight the candidate’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), in addition to the unique perspectives they can bring to VMAP’s Equity Advisory Committee.


You may submit an application on behalf of yourself or candidates may be nominated by a colleague familiar with your work (supervisor, advocacy organization, members of other groups you are affiliated with, Hospital CEO, Free Clinic Medical or Executive Director, Agency supervisor, etc.). There is no limit to the number of nominations per organization.


Before submitting an application or nominations, we ask that you review the following definitions, so all parties have a shared understanding of VMAP’s approach to behavioral health equity.



Behavioral Health Equity

Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Health Disparities

If a health outcome is seen to a greater or lesser extent between populations, there is disparity. Race or ethnicity, sex, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location all contribute to an individual’s ability to achieve good health. It is important to recognize the impact that social determinants have on health outcomes of specific populations.

Source: Healthy People 2020


The deadline to submit the completed nomination form is Sunday, February 28, 2021. 


The nomination form can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CHJNDDS


If you have any questions, please contact VMAP State Program Administrator, Bern’Nadette Knight at bernnadette.knight@dbhds.virginia.gov.


©2021 by Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP)