Our Immediate Response (IR) team is the City of Richmond’s only program devoted to the needs of children exposed to trauma or experiencing a mental health crisis.
- Exposure to violence in the home or community
- Accident in a vehicle or home resulting in serious injury or loss
- Sexual, physical, psychological, or emotional abuse
- Loss of a loved one through death, separation/divorce, or incarceration
- Intense anxiety or depression as evidenced by isolation or verbal aggression
- Speaking about death daily
- Self-harms or threatens others
- Inappropriate touching of themselves or others
- Behavior changes such as bedwetting, neglect of hygiene, insomnia, or eating habits
- Runs away or attempts to run away
- Displacement in school environment
Emergency responders, Richmond Public Schools, and other community agencies contact us to provide immediate mental health services. Children must be between the ages of 2-18 and have experienced a recent traumatic event. IR is prevention-focused. The program strives to reduce the effects of violence on children through:
24/7 Immediate Response
First, the Police, Ambulance Authority, or community member contacts the IR team. The Immediate Response clinician will consult over the phone to assess for safety and determine continued needs. If appropriate, an IR clinician may travel to the scene of trauma. The clinician assists children and families through assessing emotional and physical safety from the perspective of the child. Finally, clinicians attend to the emotional needs of children at the scene. They engage the child(ren) and caregivers in soothing activities.
After responding, the clinician schedules a follow-up with the family. The clinician will work with the family to assess the child’s continued needs and educate caregivers about trauma and mental health. The clinician will support caregivers through referrals to best-fit services to address the child’s continued mental health needs.
Continued Mental Health Services
Children may qualify for ongoing mental health services through ChildSavers or other community partners. A child may receive therapy from ChildSavers Outpatient Mental Health Services. This care focuses on establishing safety, developing coping skills, identifying resources, and enhancing resiliency.
Immediate Response (24/7): for mental health crisis and trauma involving a child call: