After six years, VTCC opened as an acute care child and adolescent psychiatric hospital in 1962, operated by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services from 1962 until 1991. It then became the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)Medical Center.
In 2008, the Virginia Treatment Center for Children brought together child mental health providers, family support organizations, and other key stakeholders in the child mental health community. This group assessed the unmet needs in the Greater Richmond area and developed a strategy for improving access to mental health services and supports for children and their families. Out of the needs identified by this group, the Children’s Mental Health Resource Center (CMHRC) was born.
The CMHRC addresses the issues of :
· The number of young people and their families struggling with mental health issues and unable to identify or access appropriate services in a timely manner
· The difficulty in navigating the current child mental health system
· The lack of resources and training to provide programs that operate using “evidence-based practices”
· The lack of integration between children’s mental health and primary health care
Challenges can be addressed through your efforts. Private giving is needed to fund the education and consultation to pediatricians, especially since these services are not reimbursed by insurance companies or other public plans (Medicare, Medicaid). Volunteers help us to identify new resources and outreach to communities. Your contacts help us to reach out to new partners so they are aware of the services offered through VTCC and the Children’s Mental Health Resource Center.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Virginia
The chronic underfunding of child, adolescent and family mental health services, and a related undersupply of specialized clinicians creates a scarcity of children's mental health services around the Commonwealth.
There is little doubt that the state of mental health for children in Virginia - and across the nation - is appalling. But one organization is taking the lead in addressing this critical shortfall – The Virginia Treatment Center for Children at VCU Medical Center .
Bob Cohen’s deep commitment and passion that have been the hallmarks of his career make him unwilling to consider retirement. Instead, he says he is “repositioning” himself to stay involved in the work he loves, but also make time for other things.
Cohen’s career began as a psychology doctoral candidate in New York, looking for a way to use what he was studying and apply it at the community or organizational level. “I wanted to reach more than just one person at a time,” Cohen explains. This desire landed him first as the director of the Institute for Community Psychology at Syracuse, then as an Associate Commissioner in the New York State Office of Mental Health, and ultimately at VCU, where he is now Executive Director of the VTCC and a key player in the development of the fledgling Children’s Mental Health Resource Center.
Although he shies away from using the term “legacy,” Cohen acknowledges that he has a long list of accomplishments since coming to the VTCC in 1984. When asked about it, he mentions his role in developing a blueprint for a comprehensive mental health system in Virginia, the fulfilling relationships he has had with his colleagues and children, and developing the VTCC as an exemplary treatment center, but ultimately it is his creativity and collaboration that he cites as his greatest achievements. “What I feel proud about has been our ability to collectively understand where we are and look ahead to where we are going, and working together to create good policies and treatments that will anticipate those needs,” says Cohen.
This summer, Dr. Cohen was informed that the Virginia Healthcare Foundation and the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation will fund nearly $500,000 in start up costs to open the CMHRC! We want to thank these foundations, and the Jenkins and Jackson Foundations, for realizing the importance of comprehensive mental health care for Virginia’s children.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
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