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Kids Come First Files: We are so glad we called!
June 07, 2018

Our latest addition to the Kids Come First Files blog series tells the story of a thankful mom and dad from Chesterfield, Virginia. Read more about how one call to the Children’s Mental Health Resource Center at Virginia Treatment Center for Children and a connection with a family navigator helped them turn heartbreak into hope.   

Vtcc Cmhrc Lobby

Dear VTCC executive director,

The Children’s Mental Health Resource Center at Virginia Treatment Center for Children has been a key component in finding our way and securing the help our family needed to begin to heal. We made initial contact with the CMHRC in May 2016. At that time our daughter had been diagnosed with sensory integration disorder, auditory processing disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, and ADHD. She previously had multiple misdiagnoses as doctors tried to figure out what was going on.

Our daughter was having meltdowns and tantrums on a daily basis, which were increasing in intensity and duration, and our family was struggling to manage the situation. Two different sources ultimately provided us with the CMHRC’s phone number – including a contact at CREST. We are so glad we called!

We spoke with a family navigator named Robin Church and she has been by our family’s side ever since helping us make contact with the people we needed to help our daughter and family. She has even called us to check in to see how we were doing and to see if the center could be of any further assistance.

Our initial call was to gain information on psychological evaluations. We were given multiple resources to contact and made an appointment to have an evaluation. Since then, we have talked with Robin and CMHRC making many calls – gaining information on everything from art therapy to autism testing.

Initially we had our daughter tested for autism based on suspicions of a practitioner she saw who was not a psychologist. When formally evaluated later by psychologists at a community agency, we were told she did not have autism. We were not confident in their findings so – once again – we called the CMHRC and spoke with Robin. She gave us additional recommendations for autism professionals. Thanks to that call, we were able to connect with a specialist who had the right experience with high functioning girls with autism. She recognized the right characteristics and provided a clear diagnosis that opened many doors to services our child desperately needed.

After four acute hospitalizations, crisis intervention in our home, calls to the police when our daughter became dysregulated and an evaluation that finally confirmed a diagnosis, our daughter is now in a residential treatment program where she is getting the help she needs. The last piece of our support circle puzzle was finding a psychiatrist, which the CMHRC helped us do.

The mental health world can be very confusing, and at times there can be too much data to absorb. Our journey is not over, but our family is finally on the right path and we would not have gotten here without the CMHRC. They helped us navigate a wealth of available information and are always a phone call away. Robin has provided our family reassurance that we are not alone in our journey. For us, that has been just as valuable as our new connections and resources.

Thank you to Robin and the Children’s Hospital Mental Resource Center. We are thankful to have partnered with you.


A very thankful Chesterfield mom and dad

Children’s Mental Health Resource Center

The CMHRC is an innovative resource for families of children with mental, emotional or behavioral health needs. Family navigators at the CMHRC help families and community providers understand the mental health options available for children and assist them in finding therapists, psychiatrists or other appropriate services. Our navigators have personally navigated the mental health system – providing valuable experience, one-on-one support and referral assistance to families across Virginia. All services are provided free of charge.

Learn more online or give us a call at (804) 828-9897.

NOTE: The Children’s Mental Health Resource Center is not a clinical program. It is designed to assist families and providers in understanding the mental health services available for children and adolescents and link them to appropriate information and care. CMHRC is not a crisis provider. If you feel your child is in a mental health crisis, please: 

  1. Call your local mental health agency (community services board)
  2. Call 9-1-1, or 
  3. Take them to the nearest emergency room for evaluation.

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