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Immediate Response

Program Description

In our Immediate Response program, mental health first aid is provided to children at the scene of a traumatic event. Within the City of Richmond, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, children and teens regularly confront unimaginable trauma (including, but not limited to, homicides, suicides, assaults, domestic violence, sexual assault, and house fires). A clinician is always on call — 24/7, 365 days a year. When notified, the clinician goes immediately to the affected children and looks for signs of agitation, disorientation, and unresponsiveness. The clinician works to validate their emotions, establish their safety, and help them process the event using all their senses.

Program Address

200 N. 22nd St. Richmond Virginia 23223

Classification

Children & Youth, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Location

Richmond

Primary Population Served

Success Stories

Jonquelle was riding with his parents in the car when the accident happened. Sudden, painful, and terrifying, the collision left him with severe medical injuries. However, Jonquelle’s body wasn’t the only thing hurting. A once friendly child, Jonquelle began to distrust people and have mood swings. He was irritable and had crying spells as well as nightmares, separation anxiety, and excessive worry about loved ones. Thanks to your support, our Immediate Response (IR) program has the flexibility required to provide emotional support and psychological first-aid 24/7, 365 days each year. For Jonquelle and his distressed parents, this meant our team could begin treatment in the hospital while they were recovering. In addition to having to manage their own emotional distress and navigating the hospital, Jonquelle’s parents were also struggling with significant financial and housing issues. IR has an emphasis on clinical care coordination. This enabled us to link Jonquelle and his parents with financial and housing resources, resulting in secure, stable housing. We were able to continue providing therapeutic services to Jonquelle and his parents within the family’s new home and began helping Jonquelle feel safe again. Through expressive arts and sensory-based strategies, Jonquelle was able to process this traumatic experience. His therapist worked with him to develop coping skills to manage distressing thoughts and feelings, and increase his sense of safety to move towards stability and recovery. Because of you, Jonquelle successfully transitioned to our outpatient program with minimal anxiety because of the consistency, rapport, and trust established with his therapist. Thank you for ensuring that Jonquelle had the support he needed to heal and thrive.

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