NEWPORT NEWS—According to a press release from Ferguson, one in five children in the United States has a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition—and yet the majority go without either diagnosis or treatment. The need is only trending up, as parents are just starting to see the impacts of the pandemic on the social and emotional health of children.
As part of the Ferguson Cares Program, Ferguson is helping to address the overwhelming need in its hometown area with a $2.5 million gift to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters’ Lighting the Way campaign. CHKD, Virginia’s only comprehensive freestanding pediatric hospital and longtime Ferguson community partner, is building a 14-story, $224 million mental health hospital and outpatient center for children. This innovative facility will open in 2022, with 60 private patient rooms and space for programs that address specific gaps in mental health care in our region.
“Mental health is just as important as physical health—if not more,” explained Kevin Murphy, Ferguson CEO. “Our work with CHKD has taught us that a child’s physical health is often a reflection of their mental and emotional well-being. To improve the quality of life for our young people, as well as support their families and caregivers, it will take a concerted effort from all of us to make a difference. The children’s mental health crisis has deep and lasting impacts in every facet of our community. Ferguson is extremely proud to be part of this endeavor.”
CHKD has always paved the way for children’s healthcare in Hampton Roads, providing the best all-around services from immensely talented and well-trained doctors, nurses and support staff. The hospital’s efforts to raise the bar for children’s mental health is a natural progression in its journey to provide world-class care for all aspects of a child’s health and quality of life.
“We are incredibly grateful to Ferguson for their long-standing partnership with CHKD and for their substantial donation to our mental health initiative,” said Jim Dahling, president and CEO of CHKD Health System. “Ferguson’s generosity will help us provide first-class care to young people suffering from conditions like depression, anxiety and eating disorders so children can heal and reach their full potential.”
A ground-breaking ceremony for the facility happened on September 17, 2019, at 400 Gresham Drive in Norfolk. The facility will offer a new level of care, standing out among the nation’s top pediatric mental health hospitals, with innovative patient- and family-centered design, research-based treatments, academic training programs for the next generation of child psychiatrists, and unparalleled support and community involvement. All inpatient rooms will be private, with sleeping accommodations for a parent. Other facility highlights include an outdoor recreation area, an indoor gym, a music room and recording studio, a rooftop garden, a soothing multi-sensory room, and family lounge areas.
The facility will also provide outpatient therapy and a “partial hospitalization” program that provide intensive care to children who will spend most of the day at the hospital but will still reside at home. CHKD will focus programming on children who have the hardest time finding treatment, including children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as children with eating disorders, and chronic medical and co-occurring mental illness.