LNA 09082018 HorizonACS 01

Horizon Behavioral Health's newest facility, focused on ambulatory crisis stabilization for children, stands off of Village Highway in Concord. Photo by Rachel Mahoney/News & Advance

Starting in October, children in Campbell County who’ve been referred to crisis stabilization services will be receiving treatment at Horizon Behavioral Health’s new facility in Concord.

The Horizon Wellness Center at Concord, which staff aims to open in October, will take over ambulatory crisis stabilization services for children from the Horizon Wellness Center in Rustburg. The service aims to stabilize clients who are going through a psychiatric crisis without hospitalizing them. Horizon provides the service in Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst, Bedford and Campbell.

The Horizon Wellness Center at Campbell in Rustburg will continue to provide case management, individual therapy and psychiatric services, and children visiting the Concord facility also could receive those wraparound services there, said Lauren Connors, Horizon’s communications manager.

Horizon Behavioral Health is the Community Services Board that provides treatment for mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse disorders to residents in Lynchburg and surrounding counties.

Previously, Campbell County children couldn’t be served at the Horizon Wellness Center at Campbell would be referred to Horizon facilities in nearby localities for crisis stabilization, Connors said.

Horizon workers at the Rustburg wellness center provided ambulatory crisis stabilization to an average of 16 children per month in the 2017-18 school year, Connors said. The Wellness Center at Concord, with more than 5,000 square feet and room to grow, can serve 20 clients per month. The new facility will only serve children, take clients largely from Campbell County and 11 existing Horizon staff members will work there, she said.

The new facility will include two large group rooms, a Wellness Room where children can calm themselves and two additional Assessment Rooms, according to Connors. Children will be at the facility during the day and it’ll be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Connors said Horizon hasn’t had the space to handle all of the referrals it receives for Campbell County children needing crisis stabilization, but “[t]he new location will allow us to grow and handle the new referrals.”

The new facility sits on about 3.5 acres at 7777 Village Highway. Campbell County land records indicate Horizon bought the property for $280,000 in late June. Connors said Horizon’s Physical Plants and Facilities Team installed new floors and some new walls and gave the building a fresh coat of paint.

Courtney Camden, Child Services Act (CSA) Coordinator in Campbell County, said the new location will provide a welcome focus on crisis intervention and help fill CSA’s goal of placing children in the least-restrictive treatment possible.

“We’re just glad that they have the space to kind of spread out and serve more effectively,” she said.

Children referred to the service could have a variety of mental health disorders and have experienced grief, abuse, neglect or other trauma, she said.

Camden said the number of children needing crisis stabilization fluctuates, but CSA tends to see “spikes” at certain times of the year when they can be experiencing more stress — one of those times landing around October, when the back-to-school rush is over and children are sinking back into their schedule.

“Services at the new location can now be expanded to include the opportunity for more parent education groups, increase in the recreational therapy activities due to the structure of the new site, more space for individual therapy, and a more comfortable and supportive environment for our consumers,” Connors said in an email.

The Parent Education Groups will be new to the Concord facility, she said.

Local members of Family Assessment and Planning Teams (FAPT), a group of representatives from community agencies like the school division and juvenile court services unit, work with families and at-risk youth to determine what services would best suit them.Those teams have been deciding to place children in more intense services and have seen more and more children with severe mental health issues and suicidal thoughts, Connors said.

Besides the FAPTs, school personnel, private care providers and other Horizon staff can make direct referrals for a child to receive ambulatory crisis stabilization, said Tina Cruz, Campbell County Public Schools’ student services specialist and a FAPT member. Those people usually are in direct contact with a child and are well-aware of their needs, she said.

According to fiscal year 2018 data submitted to the state Office of Children’s Services, it cost Campbell CSA $175 per day for each child receiving crisis stabilization services. Medicaid can partially pay for those services if the child is eligible, according to Campbell County CSA Coordinator Irene Williams, or insurance can kick in to pay for the service. In some cases, CSA pays Horizon for the service completely.

Horizon is hosting an open house at the new Concord facility on Sept. 26.

Recommended for you

Load comments