St. Joseph’s Villa and Henrico County break ground on Central Virginia’s first youth Crisis Receiving Center

Pilot program will serve as an emergency room alternative for children and adolescents experiencing mental health crisis

St. Joseph’s Villa and Henrico County announce the groundbreaking of a new Crisis Receiving Center (CRC) that will provide immediate support for youth in critical need of mental health care. The facility will serve as an alternative to emergency rooms, with the goal of diverting hospitalization and allowing youth to be treated in their own community.

The CRC will offer 24/7 call and walk-in service for youth and their families. Within 23 hours of an admission, trained mental health professionals will provide comprehensive assessments and crisis interventions, as well as referrals to community-based providers for ongoing support. Family involvement will be a key component of the CRC through in-person and virtual options.

“This Crisis Receiving Center specifically designed for youth marks a major milestone in expanding our community’s access to essential mental health care,” said Kathleen Burke Barrett, CEO of St. Joseph’s Villa. “We are proud to collaborate with Henrico County to address the growing need for crisis services, and ensure youth can receive skilled support when they most urgently need it.”

The Virginia Department of Health reports that emergency room visits for suicidal thoughts, self-harm, or suicide attempts among 9 to 18-year-old Virginians more than doubled from 2016-2021. Individuals in active crisis often wait days to receive appropriate mental health services when seeking help in hospital emergency departments. The CRC at St. Joseph’s Villa will increase local capacity for service and provide youth with rapid access to treatment.

“Henrico County believes in the power of partnerships to build a stronger community, and this project is more evidence of what can happen when nonprofit and government sectors join forces,” said Frank Thornton, chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors. “Utilizing the expertise of St. Joseph’s Villa, this center will provide essential mental health services for so many young people–and support for their families–in Henrico and the broader region. Henrico County, the county with a heart, is pleased to facilitate the funding for this effort and is grateful that the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes its potential to address a vital need for this community.”

“The Crisis Receiving Center provides an important alternative for youth and their families experiencing a mental health crisis,” said Daniel Rigsby, division director of Clinical and Prevention Services for Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services. “It will be able to provide quick access to care in an environment that will feel more like a home than a hospital.”

Located on the St. Joseph’s Villa campus at 8000 Brook Road, the CRC 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, and gradually expand capacity to 9 youth.

VA map - Region 4


Renovations to the 1,780 square-foot building will be completed in 2024, at an estimated construction cost of nearly $1 million. Modifications will include enhanced accessibility features and the installation of ligature resistant fixtures to ensure a safe environment. The project is funded by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

The CRC will be the first facility of its kind in Central Virginia.



  • 16% of U.S. youth report suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year. More than 2.7 million youth are experiencing severe major depression.
  • 60% of youth with major depression do not receive mental health treatment.
  • 1 in 10 youth with private insurance do not have coverage for mental or emotional difficulties.
  • Virginia currently ranks 48th in youth mental health, indicating that youth have a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care.

Source: 2023 The State of Mental Health in America by Mental Health America



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