Crisis Stabilization Unit helps Caroline cope with trauma

The effects of childhood trauma echoed through the years for Caroline. She moved in with her 70-year-old grandmother after enduring neglect by her parents, but had trouble managing her emotions despite a more caring
environment. Her anxiety and anger would often erupt into violent outbursts and destruction. When crisis situations escalated and became too much for her grandmother to handle, Caroline’s cousin Brittany stepped up to help, and was awarded custody.

Caroline struggled with the move from South Carolina to Virginia to be with Brittany. A recent mental health crisis led to a two-day hospitalization for Caroline – but the solution was short-lived.

“The hospital didn’t provide therapy because it was too crowded, but she needed it to come home,” said Brittany.

Caroline’s social worker then referred Brittany to the Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) at St. Joseph’s Villa. Over the
course of ten days at the CSU, clinicians worked with Caroline to encourage healthy self-expression and address the root of her behaviors. Brittany was also able to join treatments through virtual and in-person family counseling sessions, where they could both open up about their feelings. Caroline successfully returned home just in time for her fifteenth birthday, with a network of support and a safety plan that she and Brittany created together, to help continue on the path toward healing.

“St. Joseph’s Villa was so helpful, I would recommend the CSU for any child struggling with mental health,” said Brittany. “Caroline was a totally different person when she came home. She’s been doing well.”

The Crisis Stabilization Unit at St. Joseph’s Villa operates in partnership with Richmond Behavioral Health Authority Region IV.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

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