JAMES CITY — A psychiatric care facility in James City County is hoping to expand to meet a surge in mental health and addition issues linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the county’s planning commission supported the expansion, unanimously backing a request for additions to the Pavilion at Williamsburg Place and the Farley Center on Mooretown Road. The facility is looking to add 41 new inpatient psychiatric beds, 10 new intermediate care substance abuse beds and 28 new outpatient domiciliary beds.
The extension would also add office space for staff and expand the indoor and outdoor dining and kitchen facilities. Williamsburg Place will have 98 inpatient beds, 40 intermediate care beds and 76 outpatient beds if the expansion is approved.
“According to the applicants, the expansion addresses the increasing demand for the need for mental health care and services in the community, in large part to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” county planner Ben Loppacker told the commission on Dec. 7.
Williamsburg Place has provided services to the community since 1989, when the first special-use permit was approved for a 40-bed intermediate care substance abuse treatment facility and transitional domiciliary facility. The Pavilion’s inpatient psychiatric facility offers geriatric and adult programs while the adjacent Farley Center has beds for substance use detox, rehabilitation, partial hospitalization and outpatient services.
James City County has approved four extensions of the facility over the years, Loppacker told the commission. Planning staff recommended approval of another special-use permit.
Samantha Steketee, a spokeswoman for the applicant, said the Pavilion is a subsidiary of Summit BHC, a Tennessee-based behavioral health care provider. Summit runs 32 centers in 19 states. Summit acquired the James City County center from Diamond Healthcare in 2021.
“Summit is particularly proud of its recent launch of the Tactical Recovery program here locally which is designed to help our active duty service members and veterans recover from PTSD, mental health and substance use disorders,” Steketee said.
She said the modest expansion would help accommodate the “quickly growing number of people experiencing mental health crises and substance abuse disorders, particularly since COVID-19.”
Steketee said the 41 new inpatient psychiatric beds would be housed in a new wing at the Mooretown Road facility.
The proposed expansion will go before the James City County Board of Supervisors at a time when legislators and medical professionals are warning of an uptick in mental health and substance abuse issues as the nation emerges from the pandemic.
A report released in the fall from the Virginia General Assembly found the number of visits to Virginia hospitals for mental health and substance abuse issues climbed in recent years and spiked at the outset of the pandemic in 2020.
David Macaulay, firstname.lastname@example.org