Prince William County is on target to open a new crisis receiving center in Woodbridge in 2024 and will hold a community dedication ceremony for the facility next month.
The need for mental health care has been growing. The county in March was the winning bidder on the former Gander Mountain property near Potomac Mills mall. It bought the 155,309-square-foot building that sits on 12.51 acres for $15.2 million to offer crisis help.
Occoquan District Supervisor Kenny A. Kevin Boddye describes the new crisis receiving center as a “one-stop shop” where patients will be able to receive help for immediate mental health crises while also being connected to long-term mental health resources.
The site also will be the home for the county’s Department of Community Services.
“I have been a big supporter of getting more mental health services to our county for years,” says Boddye, a Lake Ridge resident. “I hear story after story of folks falling through the cracks because they don’t get diagnosed, because they don’t get the help they need when they’re in a mental health crisis. It leads to really bad outcomes for our community.”
Boddye says that while Virginia does have other crisis receiving centers, the current model is reactive and designed to mitigate immediate harm. Prince William County’s new center will take a more proactive approach based on a newer “crisis now” model used in Arizona that also addresses the long-term care of patients.
At the county’s dedication ceremony on May 11, the county will talk more about how the crisis receiving center that’s expected to open in late 2024 will transform mental health. The center will take walk-ins and drop-offs and people under temporary detention orders or who meet the criteria for inpatient psychiatric care.
The plans call for 16 crisis stabilization beds for adults, 16 recliners where people can remain for 23 hours of observation, and eight recliners and eight beds for teens between 14 and 18.
Prince William County so far has provided $2.7 million in ongoing funding for the adult crisis receiving center. County spokeswoman Rachel Johnson says the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services provided $2.1 milliion in ongoing funding that allowed the county to begin some of the youth facilities at the same time.
“We will be identifying how many of the youth 23-hour observation reclins can crisis stabilitzation beds can be brought on with this funding. We still need an estimated $2 million to complete the youth CRC (crisis receiving center),” Johnson said, in an email.
In addition to the ongoing funding and the $15.2 million the county spent to buy the Gander Mountain property, Johnson says $18.7 million has been raised to date. Here’s how it breaks out:
- $4.5 million from the Amercan Rescue Plan Act;
- $9.7 million from state one-time funding through grants and regional distribution;
- $2.5 million in Virginia General Assembly funding;
- $2 million from the Potomac Health Foundation.
The county received word that it received a one-time funding grant from Congress, but has not yet received the money.
The Woodbridge location is one that county officials saw as a perfect fit, in part because people are familiar with it. Prince William County partnered with the Department of Health of Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic to use the Gander Mountain building as a mass vaccination site.
Boddye says it’s an area of the county where he sees the most need for more mental health services.
“It’s in a great area to help the most vulnerable folks in our county,” Boddye says.
“I can’t highlight enough how important it is that we now have a youth component to this center. There aren’t a lot of offerings out there, especially for children,” he says.
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