NORFOLK, Va. – Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) opened the highly anticipated inpatient psychiatric service at its new 14-story Children’s Pavilion today. The first 12 beds are available now, and an additional 48 inpatient beds or rooms will open in a phased approach through mid-2023.

“In December 2021, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy called the mental health crisis facing our youth an urgent public health issue,” said Dr. Carl Petersen, Chief of Mental Health Services at CHKD. “Mental health challenges in children and adolescents are real and widespread but, most importantly, they are treatable and often preventable.”

Children’s Pavilion integrates access to mental health services into other routine services to de-stigmatize mental health treatment. The facility will be the hub of a coordinated continuum of mental health services, including prevention programs, research and training, acute inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, day programs, and follow-up care.

It will be one of a few acute pediatric psychiatric facilities in the country offering a specialized neurodevelopmental unit to care for children with autism or other developmental challenges, along with acute and chronic psychiatric illnesses, like bipolar disorder and depression. Unlike most other children’s hospitals across the U.S., Children’s Pavilion will also treat children who have both a co-existing medical and psychiatric conditions.

When fully operational, the Children’s Pavilion will admit about 2,500 children for inpatient care every year, provide 48,000 outpatient therapy appointments annually, and add 400 new jobs to the Hampton Roads area.  

CHKD launched a mental health initiative in 2018 to answer the growing community concern about a lack of pediatric mental health services in Hampton Roads and across Virginia. Since then, CHKD has brought together esteemed clinicians, researchers, and academicians from across the country to change the way young people receive mental health care.

Since 2018, the mental health team at CHKD has grown from one full-time child and adolescent psychiatrist, who was part of a 30-member team, to its current 19 psychiatrists on a team of more than 200. That number is expected to double to 400 by the time all inpatient beds are open next year.

Outpatient services began in Children’s Pavilion in April 2022, and CHKD celebrated the forthcoming opening of inpatient psychiatric care at Children’s Pavilion with an official dedication ceremony on September 30.

Thanks to the generous community response to the CHKD Lighting the Way fundraising campaign, construction of Children’s Pavilion began in September 2019. The community has raised $68 million toward this project through the Lighting the Way campaign, exceeding a preliminary goal which has now been elevated to $75 million to meet the increased needs for pediatric mental health care that arose during the pandemic. To help CHKD fulfill the needs of the community, visit this Lighting the Way link.


CHKD is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. The not-for-profit CHKD Health System operates primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, multi-service health centers, urgent care centers, and satellite offices throughout its service region. In 2019, CHKD broke ground on Children's Pavilion, a 60-bed, 14-story hospital and outpatient center to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. The new tower opened for inpatient care in October 2022 and for outpatient care in April 2022. Learn more at