NVMHI promotes a healthy environment and on October 10, 2007, the facility and surrounding campus became tobacco-free.
The Institute was established in January 1968 as a short-term hospital to provide intensive treatment to individuals with acute mental health needs living in Northern Virginia. The hospital's physical plant encompasses a one-story brick structure with a basement area under approximately one-third of the building. All individual areas, as well as most of the clinical and administrative offices are located on the ground level, with a few additional staff offices and supply rooms located in the basement level.
Currently, the Institute has four co-ed individual care units. The Admissions units, F, has 23 beds. Intermediate Care unit, I1, has 29 beds and Intermediate Care unit, I2, with 31 beds has intermediate and forensic individuals. Unit K, the psychosocial rehabilitation unit, has 40 beds.
To be eligible for services at NVMHI an individual must be between the ages of 18 to 65, be in need of acute psychiatric treatment and reside in one of the five Community Services Board (CSB) districts in Northern Virginia (Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax-Falls Church, Loudoun, and Prince William). All admissions are pre-screened by the CSB in the person's area of residence. Once the pre-screener has determined the need for admission, contact is made with the Admissions Department at NVMHI to arrange an admission intake. NVMHI accepts individuals on involuntary and voluntary admission status.
The treatment program at NVMHI is individualized to meet the needs of each individual and services are provided by an interdisciplinary treatment teams of psychiatrists, psychologists, nursing staff, social workers, occupational, recreation and art therapy. All individuals participate in treatment planning activities and receive group treatment services. Family therapy services are provided as needed. A full array of programming is available to the individual. The program options include group psychotherapies, independent living skills training, medication education, stress management, community reintegration, and a variety of recreational activities.