Friday, May 20, 2022

A new service in Williamsburg brings mental health right to your home

The new location is at 7191 Unit A on RIchmond Road. (WYDaily/Google Maps)
The new location is at 7191 Unit A on RIchmond Road. (WYDaily/Google Maps)

When Ronnie Davis was teaching music in 2007, he decided to devote his life to providing mental health services for under served youth.

“I didn’t see at risk, I saw a child that was misguided,” he said. “I fell in love with this demographic.”

Davis is the chief executive officer of Another Level Youth and Family Services, which has opened its newest location in May at 7191 Richmond Road in Williamsburg.

But that line of work wasn’t always Davis’ plan.

Prior to 2007, he had earned a degree in music from Virginia State University and was working as a music teacher and mentor. In the summer of 2007, he worked with a camp in Richmond that brought music to children in under-served communities.

From that summer on, he said there was no going back because he knew what he wanted to do.

“For me, even being in the business as an owner, it was the best way possible for me to understand myself better from a psychological perspective and then the mindset of children in different environments,” he said.

The company opened its first location in Virginia Beach after becoming licensed in 2010. Since then, the services have grown to help anywhere from eight to 100 families each year with 29 licensed counselors.

Part of what makes the services unique is the ability to offer in-home counseling for families and children. Davis said most places don’t do this because special permits are required, but in a lot of cases going to the home greatly improves the quality of service.

“We are able to go into the homes and spend the necessary time with the families and child to create a conducive environment for stabilization,” Davis said. “Our counselors can go into the most comfortable places for the parents and child so we can get an accurate point of view on the child and situation.”

In-home services include a range of mental health care from behavior modification to 24/7 crisis intervention.

Davis has lived in Williamsburg for the past five years and has children in the Williamsburg-James City County school system when he started noticing there was a need in Williamsburg for the services his company offers.

“I’ve spoken to some of the coaches and I’ve spoken to a few of the teachers and we have such a great education program but some of the kids in the schools are falling victim to their environment at home or in general,” he said.

Davis is working to make the services his company offers as accessible as possible. At the moment the company is a medicaid-accepted program and he said they are also working with a number of insurance companies to make the services affordable.

What’s difficult about this line of work, though, is making people aware the services are available to them, he said. One of the ways to connect to the community is simply by being involved and letting other programs know the resources are available to them.

“My goal is to be a household name,” he said. “Right now the nation is bringing awareness to mental illness and my goal is to be a name for diminishing that stigma. I want to be a pioneer in letting people know that it’s okay not to be okay.”

Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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