Serious Mental Illness and the Virginia Legal System

Course code:24-TJ-024
Dates:April 25, 2024 Alternate Course Dates
Meets:Th from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Location:Live Online via Zoom
Instructor:Lars Messerschmidt
Fee: $35.00Fee Breakdown


This is the seventh of seven informative sessions within the series, "Insights into Serious Mental Illness: A Comprehensive Seminar Series," aimed to address critical topics related to Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and led by speakers who specialize in different areas of SMI.

This seminar will address the intersection of serious mental illness (SMI) and provide knowledge of the Psychiatric Crisis and Civil Commitment Process in Virginia. It will explore the intersection of social justice, the legal system, and mental illness, and navigate ethical dilemmas such as mental health and Virginia Code. This seminar will assist participants in providing an overall understanding of current state/local executive efforts to expand mental illness services as well.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify resources for higher levels of care and gain knowledge of the Code of Virginia, specifically the "bed of last resort" law.
  • Develop awareness of community resources and advocacy opportunities and understand the role of law enforcement in a psychiatric crisis.


The cost per session is free for VCU School of Social Work students, faculty, community-embedded faculty and staff; $30 for VCU alumni or field instructors; and $35 for all other attendees. This pricing structure is intended to make the series accessible to all, with a special emphasis on supporting students' learning and engagement.

VCU School of Social work students, faculty, community-embedded faculty and staff should enter the coupon code SSW35 into the promotional code box during registration. Coupon codes must be used/applied at the time of enrollment, cannot be combined with other discounts/coupons or waivers, and will not be retroactively applied.

Registration Deadline: Registrations will be accepted through April 24, 2024.
Cancellation/Refund Policy: You may cancel your registration up until the day before the start date, and receive a full refund minus a $17.50 credit card processing fee. After that date, no refunds will be given. Cancellations must be received via email at
In the unlikely event that this program is cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the university will fully refund registration fees, but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including change or cancellation charges to include but not limited to airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organizations.

Transfer Policy: Registration may be transferred to a different seminar within the series if space is available. Transfer request must be in writing via email at by the cancellation deadline.

Student/Participant Conduct:
Participants are subject to all university policies applicable to students, unless a specific university or VCU Continuing and Professional Education policy explicitly states otherwise. University policies governing students are available at including:
Student Code of Conduct
Honor System and Standards of Academic Conduct
Preventing and Responding to Discrimination
Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy-Interim
Sex-Based Misconduct Policy-Interim
For Academic Accommodations, please visit

There are still openings remaining at this time.

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