Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: December 8, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez,

Governor Glenn Youngkin Announces Key Right Help, Right Now Investments into Virginia’s Emergency Room Alternatives

Eight Crisis Receiving Centers and Stabilization Units projects across seven localities will help to connect Virginians to the behavioral health services they need

RICHMOND, VA — Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced eight grant awards to invest in building emergency room alternatives to care for patients experiencing a behavioral health crisis. These awards include new sites, projects currently under development, and enhancements to current Crisis Stabilization Units across the Commonwealth.

“We have to empower Virginians struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues by transforming and tackling the behavioral health system in Virginia through our Right Help, Right Now initiative,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Building emergency room alternatives, such as crisis receiving centers, is critical to ensuring that Virginians have somewhere to go in a behavioral health crisis to receive the appropriate care.”

“We will ensure same-day care for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis and reduce the burden on law enforcement officers, both key components of Governor Youngkin’s promises one year ago when he launched Right Help, Right Now,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel. “Building out a crisis infrastructure based on the best-in-class CrisisNow Model will transform Virginia’s behavioral health landscape for generations to come.”

“Crisis receiving centers and crisis stabilization units are crucial parts of a strong crisis continuum, and this is something we are committed to building across the Commonwealth,” said Nelson Smith, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. “Virginia’s 40 community services boards are on the frontlines as they provide this critical care to Virginians in crisis. We are grateful for their partnership as we work to ensure every Virginian has someone to call, someone to respond, and somewhere to go.”

This first wave of awards is allocated from the $58 million investment commitment in Crisis Receiving Centers and Stabilization Units outlined in the Right Help, Right Now behavioral health care plan. The first round of projects includes:

  • Blue Ridge Behavioral Health: This proposal will create space for eight to ten Adult Crisis Receiving Center guests through renovation of space adjacent to the existing Crisis Stabilization Unit.

  • Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Health: Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH), using DBHDS general funds and Project BRAVO funds, is near completion of renovations to an existing property owned by the City of Chesapeake to create Heron’s Cove, a 16-chair Adult Crisis Receiving Center.

  • Richmond Behavioral Health Authority: Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) will update their Adult Crisis Stabilization Unit facility to modern “no-wrong door” standards. A second project will complete a Crisis Receiving Center in early stages of development.

  • Western Tidewater CSB: Through their proposal, Western Tidewater CSB will build a much-needed purpose-built Adult Crisis Therapeutic Home in Suffolk near the Western Tidewater Crisis Receiving Center.

  • Valley CSB: Valley CSB will develop a new crisis receiving center and crisis stabilization unit in a high need area using surplus land near Western State Hospital.

  • Hampton Newport News CSB: This proposal will allow for the expansion of an existing Crisis Stabilization Unit along with the addition of a Crisis Receiving Center.

  • Colonial Behavioral Health: Colonial Behavioral Health will develop a Crisis Receiving Center near Eastern State Hospital in James City County.

In addition, following a General Assembly allocation of an additional $4.2 million for child psychiatry and children's crisis response services, DBHDS released an RFP for a pilot program for children and adolescent crisis stabilization services. The pilot calls for enhanced crisis stabilization services with the goal of realizing better outcomes, through support and connection with the child’s family, schools, and support networks. Portsmouth CSB, Mount Rogers CSB, Western Tidewater CSB, and Northwestern CSB, will receive the pilot funds. The $4.2 million for children's crisis services are in addition to $10 million allocated in one-time costs to establish mobile crisis services in underserved areas and $10 million in one-time funds for Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Programs.

Launched in December 2022, Governor Youngkin’s Right Help, Right Now plan is aimed at transforming Virginia’s outdated behavioral health care system.

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