HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has received notification from Virginia Commissioner of Health, Dr. M. Norman Oliver, that the state has approved the hospital’s certificate of public need application for a new pediatric mental health facility to help meet the critical shortage of services in our region.

This new facility, to be constructed just off Brambleton Avenue in Norfolk on the medical campus shared by CHKD, EVMS, and Sentara Norfolk General, will include 48 inpatient mental health beds exclusively for young patients, along with mental health day treatment programs and other services. The state approval also includes the addition of 12 beds in the current hospital for inpatient mental health treatment of children and teens with combined medical and mental health diagnoses. This expansion of CHKD’s mental health program will employ approximately 250 healthcare providers and support staff, and treat children 2 to 18 years of age.

CHKD currently receives 15 to 20 mental health referrals each day from primary and specialty healthcare providers, and another three to five children arrive in the CHKD emergency department daily seeking crisis care for mental health disorders.

“This is a tremendous day for the children of Hampton Roads and sets our course for years to come,” says Jim Dahling, president and CEO of CHKD. “We have even harder work still ahead as we build the dream of transforming mental health services for our children and for our region. This one of the most important challenges our organization has ever undertaken.”

Now that state approval has been granted, CHKD will move forward on the planning, funding, and construction of these new facilities. It will take approximately two years to open the 12 beds in the current hospital and four years for the new building to be completed.

The King’s Daughters, founding organization of CHKD, has already pledged $1 million to this mental health initiative, and CHKD will be working with government officials, community leaders, and philanthropic organizations to raise additional funding for the effort.