Prince William Co. announces funding, location for mental health crisis center

Prince William County leaders announced $2.5 million in additional funding for a new crisis center in a move meant to prioritize mental health.

The new Crisis Receiving Center will increase local access to general mental health resources while providing more community-based services and inpatient psychiatric beds. Likewise, it will provide support for people who need non-emergency mental health services.

“People are suffering coming out of COVID, mentally. This is imperative that we do this for Prince William County,” said Andrea Bailey, the Potomac District Supervisor with the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Bailey has been working with local leaders to help make it happen.

The facility will also be home to the county’s trauma program, assertive community treatment and youth services programs.

A total of $11.9 million has been raised to build the new center, which Potomac District Supervisor Andrea Bailey will be used on an 11-year lease in the old Gander Mountain building in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Officials say it’s also about making sure mental health professionals are the ones responding to specific crises in the community instead of the police.

“And we still need ongoing funding for youth. We’ve only just begun,” added Lisa Madron, the county’s director of community services.

The Crisis Receiving Center will be open 24 hours, 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. Officials said the CRC will also work to help divert individuals from the criminal justice system.

At their meeting Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve $2.5 million in state funding which, combined with federal and local sources, brings the total to around $11.9 million for the new center. The CRC is scheduled to open its doors in 18 to 24 months.

The space will occupy almost 79,000 square feet of the retail building, with a current tenant, Floor & Decor, remaining in the other half of the building.

Bailey said creating the new center was a labor of love for the board and other community members.

“As Prince William County residents, this is what we do,” Bailey said. “We come together for a common cause to support each and everyone. 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.”

Other leaders in the community involved with the CRC’s creation spoke at the meeting on Tuesday.

“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.”

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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