Dominion Resources makes first corporate donation to children’s mental health facility

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Dominion Resources said Thursday that it will donate $250,000 towards community programs at the new Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC), an institution that provides in-patient acute care and outpatient mental health services for children and adolescents.

The donation – the first corporate gift toward the new facility – was announced on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

The gift is being made through the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power.

“Access to quality mental health care remains a serious challenge,” Robert M. Blue, president of Dominion Virginia Power, said during a press conference on Thursday morning, announcing the donation. “Approximately one in five children in Virginia endures mental or emotional illness that requires professional attention – and, of those, only 4 percent actually receive the necessary treatment. The relocation and expansion of the Virginia Treatment Center for Children’s Brook Road campus will, once complete, mean fewer patients will be turned away for want of resources or space.”

Dominion said its funding will support “tele-medicine” programs in Southside and Southwest Virginia, where treatment access is limited. Specialists at VTCC, the Child and Adolescent Division of the VCU Department of Psychiatry, will consult with pediatricians and treat patients remotely, as well as provide training to mental health professionals in these areas.

A $56 million appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly will fund the relocation and expansion of VTCC from its current location in downtown Richmond to a new location on Brook Road at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond. Construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed by fall 2016.

The new facility is designed to provide family-focused mental health services to children ages 3-17, including inpatient acute care crisis stabilization and outpatient treatment for depression and mood disorders, behavioral disorders and counseling in a therapeutic environment.

More staff and resources also will be available to children, adolescents and teens struggling with severe mental health issues requiring immediate in-patient care. The VTCC has provided  mental health services since 1962.

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