RICHMOND, Va. -- A ceremonial roof topping took place Wednesday for the new home of the Virginia Treatment Center for Children.
The center, which helps kids going through mental or emotional crises, will soon move to its new location on Brook Road.
Dr. Aradhana Sood, a leading childhood psychiatrist, said more than 70,000 children in Virginia are going through a mental or emotional problem that requires specialized help. That equates to one in five children.
"These are almost like hidden things which you really cannot see by the naked eye,” Sood said. “The problem is if you don't recognize it because of the stigma, because of the lack of information, you really miss an opportunity to intervene.”
VCU Health hopes a new building for the VTCC will serve as a symbol of strength for families.
When complete in the summer of 2017, the facility will be one of only a handful of free-standing children's mental health centers of this size and scope.
VCU Health Systems CEO Dr. Marsha Rappley, who helped spearhead the project, has a very personal connection to the VTCC's mission.
Her brother committed suicide after what she described as a lifetime of mental illness.
Rappley hopes the new facility will serve as a lifeline for Virginia families.
"Because they'll say, ‘Maybe now I should seek help. Maybe I should speak out about the problems we are facing,’" Rappley said.
If you or a family member need help now, the VTCC continues to operate at their downtown location on North 10th Street. Call
804-828-3129 for more information.