Fredericksburg, Virginia—Rappahannock Area Community Services Board announces the temporary closing of its residential crisis stabilization program. Significant staffing shortages have impacted the program’s ability to safely treat individuals experiencing acute mental health crises.

The Sunshine Lady House for Mental Health Wellness & Recovery will close its doors to guests on Feb. 7. RACSB leadership anticipates the residential crisis program will be shuttered for less than six months.

“Sunshine Lady House provides high quality, holistic care for individuals in crisis,” RACSB Executive Director Joe Wickens said. “Grateful guests often tell us that this program saved their lives. We are committed to offering the best care possible, but persistent staffing shortages prevent us from providing the services required. A temporary closure should allow us to focus on recruiting, hiring and training staff.”

The ongoing staffing struggles at Sunshine Lady House reflect a nationwide behavioral healthcare workforce crisis. RACSB implemented various strategies which allowed the crisis stabilization unit in Fredericksburg to remain open during the Covid-19 pandemic while other programs in Virginia closed. As the workforce issues continued, regulatory staffing requirements increased, so the program now needs more employees to provide residential crisis services which include 24-hour nursing, round-the-clock admissions, psychiatric assessments, counseling and more.

During the temporary closure, individuals in the Fredericksburg area who require crisis stabilization services will be referred to the Wellness Recovery Center in Charlottesville and Arbor House in Harrisonburg. Sunshine Lady House employees will be redeployed to other RACSB programs.

“Opening our doors and resuming services is a top priority,” Community Support Services Director Amy Jindra said. “We know the community relies on Sunshine Lady House. The dedicated employees allowed us to continue providing the highest quality of care in challenging times and we look forward to continuing that tradition as soon as possible.”