CHESAPEAKE, Va (WAVY)– Dominion Energy is the company most of us rely on to keep the lights on.
On Thursday, it partnered with Chesapeake Regional Healthcare to shine a light on veterans in crisis.
Thursday morning, the company presented a check for $150,000 to the Chesapeake Regional Healthcare Foundation.
The hospital is expanding and has plans for a comprehensive psychiatric emergency room, 20 psychiatric beds and outpatient mental health services.
Hampton Roads is home to one of the nation’s largest populations of veterans. There are more than 27,000 veterans living in Chesapeake alone.
“They shouldn’t have to leave their hometown, their community to get resources, we want those to be right in place to be easy and convenient to get to,” said Dr. Traci Richards, Behavioral Health Manager at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare.
The hospital has plans for a comprehensive psychiatric emergency room, 20 psychiatric beds and out patient mental health services.
“When Lincoln started the idea of veterans health care, he said to help the veteran who has worn the battle and over time, we’ve come to understand that’s not just physical health care. That’s mental health care and it’s one we’re glad to do a small part in trying to address,” said Dominion Energy Senior Vice President of Communications Bill Muray.
An estimated 22 military members and veterans die by suicide every day.
Many have suffered and seen a lot, including Kevin Graves who was a Navy Photographer.
“I’ve shot everything you can imagine, autopsies, injured people, operations. That does come back at times,” he told 10 On Your Side.
While he’s healthy today, he and fellow veterans are glad to know help is close by if they should need it.
“Having this here in the community, that’s awesome,” said Navy veteran, Jerry Ralston.
The hospital does not yet have a date to begin new or expanded services, but is already providing care for military members and their families.
Since 2018, the hospital has seen a 25% growth from the military community and 20% of that was for behavioral health.