Community/Mental Health

Prince William County Set to Open Crisis Receiving Center

to serve those experiencing mental and acute behavior health crises

The crisis center, which has not yet been built, will have 16 beds for overnight stays.
The crisis center, which has not yet been built, will have 16 beds for overnight stays.
Jade Hush Naidoo

Prince William County now has the funding to open a facility to see to the well-being of people in mental health crises.
“The Crisis Receiving Center, or CRC for short, will increase local service, access and capacity, reducing execution of temporary retaining orders and will provide for timely access to services for those who experiencing acute behavioral health care needs,” Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair At-Large Ann Wheeler-D said, during a July 19, 2022, press conference to announce the funding for the center that will open in 18 to 24 months.
The walk-in CRC will have 16 beds for adults in mental health crisis who need intervention and 23 recliners where people in mental crisis can stay for observation for up to 23 hours. The CRC will also help divert people from the criminal justice system.
“This center will be able to ensure that dedicated mental health professionals are the ones responding to a mental health crisis and not police,” said Virginia Del. Elizabeth Guzman-D, who represents parts of Prince William County in the Virginia General Assembly. “Police will be able to focus their resources on more pressing matters related to public safety.” 
Establishing the CRC received bipartisan support from the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and widespread support from the community.
“As Prince William County residents, this is what we do,” said Prince William County Potomac District Supervisor Andrea O. Bailey. “We come together for a common cause to support each and every one. I’m thankful that we are gathered here. This has certainly been a labor of love. All arms are locked. All arms have the same vision. Here, in Prince William County, we believe that mental health is health care. We have to acknowledge mental health. We have to put money toward solutions.” 
The $11.9 million to open the CRC, which will be housed at the old Gander Mountain building in Woodbridge, came from federal, state and local sources.
The vision of the CRC is to change the way the community sees, treats and supports those in a mental health crisis.
“For too long, people who are suffering ended up in jail or warehoused in hospital emergency rooms simply because there weren’t a lot of treatment options for them,” said Rev. Keith Savage of the First Baptist Church of Manassas. “Today wouldn’t have been possible if not for the leadership of a plethora of people and organizations who supported and continue to help lead this work.” 
The CRC will create a more humane response to mental health crises. “When the CRC is up and running, it will save lives,” said Rev. Michael Sessom of Little Union Baptist Church.

mental health, crisis center, Ann Wheeler, Prince William County, Andrea Bailey, Woodbridge, Virginia, $11.9 million, Crisis Receiving Center, local service, Board of County Supervisors, BOCS, Elizabeth Guzman, Del. Guzman, Virginia General Assembly, police, July 19, 2022, funding


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