CARE – Community Alternative for Recovery and Empowerment
Regional Crisis Stabilization Program
Alexandria, Virginia


CARE is a six-bed crisis stabilization unit in Fairfax County where adults (18 and up) experiencing a psychiatric crisis can recover in a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment. It is a non-profit, holistic, community alternative to psychiatric hospitalization, with no out of pocket costs to individuals served

The goal of CARE is to:
  • provide a supportive community-based environment;
  • prevent hospitalization;
  • provide hospital step-downs for further stabilization before returning home;
  • provide alcohol detox with co-occurring psychiatric crisis;
  • provide trauma informed care;
  • develop coping skills and resilience;
  • prevent future crisis situations by teaching skills and developing resources;
  • improve mental stability;
  • and improve individual functioning.

CARE provides immediate, individualized, and intensive support. Staff coordinates professional and natural supports and resources to establish a network of wrap-around supports. These supports serve as a foundation for continued personal growth and recovery.

Our crisis team of highly-skilled professionals have genuine care for the individuals we support. Our team is flexible, creative, and adaptive to an individual’s ever changing needs. Individuals served typically have mental illness, and many have co-occurring issues with substance abuse, physical and/or developmental disabilities. The primary criteria for admission is that the person be in psychiatric crisis.

The CARE team includes:
  • Qualified Mental Health Professionals (QMHPs)
  • LMHP
  • Registered Nurses
  • Peer Counselors
  • Psychiatrists
  • Medical Doctor

Our team works closely with the referring Emergency Services Departments at the CSB’s, Case Managers, and others committed to providing positive support and encouragement.

Our team may provide recommendations to families (as well as other natural and professional supports) that engage them as treatment partners as the individual prepares to discharge home or back to the community.


CARE is a regional program that primarily serves the counties of Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Prince William, and Loudoun. Admission is facilitated by calling the Emergency Services Department of the CSB in the county where the individual is located at the time of crisis. CARE staff are available to guide you through this process if needed.


Within 24 hours of admission, a nursing assessment, medical evaluation, suicide assessment, and clinical assessment are completed with the individual. Within 72 hours, the individual is seen by one of the CARE psychiatrists for a psychiatric evaluation. Information gathered through assessment process serves as a foundation for the Individualized Recovery Plan, which is completed within the first three days of admission. CARE provides supportive structure throughout the day, which generally includes 8 therapeutic groups, starting at 9am and concluding with the 9pm relaxation group. In addition, the individual is assisted with developing an individualized crisis plan and usually participates in at least one individual session daily. RN’s provide medication administration as needed as well as education. Peer support specialists run W.R.A.P. (Wellness and Recovery) groups.

Discharge planning occurs simultaneously and includes sending the individual out with a discharge plan, current medications and a discharge medication list, as well as setting up follow up appointments in the community to help ensure success. Length of stay varies depending on rate of recovery, but is typically 15 days.


Individuals are returned to their homes and communities with the skills to better manage their lives and the challenges that they face.