COMING SOON: Central Virginia’s first emergency room alternative for youth experiencing mental health crisis


The demand for youth crisis services is at a historic high. At the Villa and across the Commonwealth, we’ve seen a surge both in the number of families seeking mental health services, and in the intensity of care needed to help youth overcome high-risk behaviors.

Many parents and caregivers with a child in active crisis first look for help in a hospital emergency room, where they might wait days for assessment and intervention. Long wait times at hospitals already stretched beyond their capacity can add to distress and escalate the crisis.

Virginia is currently aligning a full continuum of crisis services after the evidence-based, best-practice model Crisis Now. The three main components of the Crisis Now model include:

  1. High-tech call centers and dispatch;
  2. 24/7 mobile crisis response available for all populations at their location; and
  3. Crisis Receiving Centers.

In partnership with Henrico County, the Crisis Receiving Center (CRC) at St. Joseph’s Villa will be the first facility of its kind in Central Virginia, designed to provide immediate help and link 100% of youth to the next appropriate level of care within 23 hours.


The primary goal of the CRC is to divert inpatient hospitalization and reduce the community’s reliance on seeking behavioral healthcare in hospital emergency departments. Open 24/7 for walk-in for service, the CRC will provide rapid and comprehensive assessment, crisis intervention services, and linkages to resources that would allow individuals to be treated in their own community. While the CRC offers a “no wrong door” approach for anyone to access mental health care, services are tailored to youth. Because admissions to the CRC will not extend beyond 23 hours, it is not a bed-based program.

Dedicated mental health professionals will provide the appropriate assessments and referrals, and ensure smooth transitions to community-based providers. Staffing structure for the CRC will include registered nurses, licensed mental health professionals, family support partners, direct support professionals, case managers, clinical supervisors, and psychiatric prescribers, with telehealth options available.

By accelerating access to high quality treatment, the CRC will reduce youth hospitalizations and out-of-state placements, helping to keep families intact.


The CRC at St. Joseph’s Villa will serve youth between 7 and 17 years of age residing within Region 4 of Central Virginia. The program will initially serve up to 6 youth, then gradually expand capacity to 9 youth.

The Villa’s holistic approach to care means that we serve the child and their family. Family involvement will be a key component of the CRC, either in person or via telehealth.

VA map - Region 4


The CRC will operate in partnership between St. Joseph’s Villa, Henrico County Mental Health & Developmental Services, and the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Partner logos

The launch of the CRC marks the Villa’s second regional partnership to provide youth with critical mental health services. Our Crisis Stabilization Unit opened on campus in 2012 in partnership with Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA), and also serves Region 4.


Located on the south end of the Villa campus, the CRC will be in close proximity to our Crisis Stabilization Unit.

Campus Map



The Villa and Henrico County broke ground on the CRC on April 27th, 2023, and will open the facility in 2024.

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