Virginia faces mental health demands

In Virginia, lawmakers are grappling over potential budget constraints that will determine if they are able to safeguard funding for public mental health programs and services. (WaPo, 2/3)

In the end, the budget for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services may not escape cuts, but so far, money for the community service boards — the front line of public mental health care delivery in the state — has not been touched.

More than 160,000 Virginians rely on CSBs for mental health care each year. Advocates for the mentally ill are still hoping to secure funding increases for worthy programs, such as mobile crisis teams and crisis stabilization centers for children. They don’t know yet whether they will succeed, but they’ve faced worse odds.

– A newly released study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the sharp declines in secondhand-smoke exposure have occurred disproportionately, with exposure to black children and those in poverty remaining high. (WSJ, 2/3)

COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Northrop Grumman for receiving a 2015 Seal of Distinction award for their work-life balance initiatives! (WBJ, 2/4)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: One funder shares his thoughts on why other funders should learn to adapt a more external view and begin to give unrestricted dollars to their grantees. (SSIR, 2/3)

– Newly appointed head of the District Department of the Environment Tommy Wells speaks on what he envisions for the future of the Anacostia River, urban agriculture, and more over the next few years. (Elevation DC, 2/3)

– The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Arlington County Public Schools as second in the nation for green energy use. Despite a 22 percent increase in enrollment over the past 11 years, the school system was able to decrease energy use per square foot by 14 percent during that time. (WaPo, 2/3)

– In Prince William County, officials will decide whether or not to keep full-day kindergarten instruction for the county’s more than 57 elementary schools due to budget constraints. (WTOP, 2/4)

– Study: College completion gap between rich, poor widens (AP, 2/3)

DISTRICT | How D.C.’s Racial Composition Breaks Down By Block (DCInno, 2/3)

How much sleep should you really be getting?

– Ciara