Crisis Services

SECU Youth Crisis Center

The SECU Youth Crisis Center, a Monarch program in Mecklenburg County, is the first step in life-changing treatment for young people across North Carolina between the ages of 6 to 17 who are in a mental health or substance use crisis. We offer short-term stabilization for an acute psychiatric episode in a secure setting that provides a safe and healthy environment where healing can begin.

Virtual Tour

Click below to take a self-guided virtual tour of the SECU Youth Crisis Center and learn more about the services provided and what to expect during your visit.

For a guided tour or additional information, please email Nicole Sigmon, Director of Referral Marketing, at [email protected]

How to Refer

Anyone may make a referral to the SECU Youth Crisis Center, a Monarch program, at any time.

  • Call (844) 263-0050 or (704) 206-2342, press option 8
  • Email [email protected]
  • Fax (704) 900-6329 [call to confirm receipt after faxing]

Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Individuals presenting problem/condition
  • Known medical and treatment/psychosocial history
  • Current medications
  • Individuals’ legal status upon referral (voluntary/involuntary)
  • Results of any recent behavioral health evaluations
  • Guardianship documentation (if applicable)
  • Insurance information

Current COVID Guidelines/Protocols

In following with the Center for Disease Control guidelines around the COVID-19 pandemic additional protocols have been put in place to ensure the safety of the people we support and our staff:

  • Walk-ins are not encouraged, please call ahead for appropriate screening
  • A negative COVID-19 test result is required prior to admission for every child and adolescent
  • During flu season, an influenza vaccine is strongly encouraged unless there is a medical contraindication
  • Only one legal guardian will be permitted to accompany a youth in crisis into the center, and the accompanying guardian will also be subject to a COVID-19 screening and a temperature check. A temperature above 99.5 will prohibit entrance to the center
  • Visitation must be scheduled in advance with staff at the center and must occur during designated visiting hours

Our Location

1810 Back Creek Drive 
Charlotte, NC, 28213 

Toll Free: (844) 263-0050, option 8 
Local: (704) 206-2342, option 8 

Hours of Operation:  
24 hours a day, 7 days a week 

For referrals, contact us via phone at (844) 263-0050, or email [email protected]. For additional information, please email Nicole Sigmon, Director of Referral Marketing, at [email protected]

Services Information

The State Employees Credit Union (SECU) Youth Crisis Center, a Monarch program in Mecklenburg County, is the first step in life-changing treatment for young people between the ages of 6-17 who are in a mental health or substance use crisis. All children and their families should have access to timely, age-appropriate mental health care both during a crisis and beyond. We offer short-term stabilization for an acute psychiatric episode in a secure setting that provides a safe and healthy environment where healing can begin. Children and adolescents receive age-appropriate treatment in individual and group settings, medication as needed, and access to a variety of individual and family services that will help manage their illness and help them better navigate their world. Under the direction of a psychiatrist and other licensed medical and professional staff, this program provides short-term therapeutic interventions designed to prevent hospitalization by reducing and stabilizing a child’s crisis and linking a child to needed care. 

What to Expect

Screening and Admission
In order to ensure safety, doors leading to and from the facility are always locked. A doorbell is available on the right side of the front entrance, please stand in front of camera to ensure visibility. Staff will present to the lobby where the guardian will be asked to complete intake forms and to provide the following:

  • Photo ID
  • Current list of medications
  • Medicaid/insurance card
  • Guardianship paperwork (if applicable)

Upon completing intake paperwork a nurse will begin the in-person screening with the youth and guardian. If the youth meets criteria, a recommendation for admission will be made by the psychiatrist and a staff member will meet with the youth and guardian to begin admission. (Therapist may not meet during initial visit but within 24 hours).

Upon reviewing current medications with the youth and guardian, the center will order and provide medications over the course of the youth’s stay at the center. Guidelines will be given on permitted items of clothing and other personal belongings.

Treatment Program

Your treatment team may include a psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse, therapist, and behavioral health technicians. In addition to the comprehensive clinical assessment provided by the therapist, a psychiatric evaluation will also be completed by a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist within 24 hours of admission. In some cases, additional psychological assessment may be administered by the psychologist if needed.

Average length of stay at the youth crisis center is approximately 7 days and is determined based on individual needOccasionally, other factors such as the youth’s clinical needs or placement post-discharge may warrant a longer length of stay. 

Treatment includes regularly scheduled group therapy sessions that utilize evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy and occupational therapy. Time is also allotted for completing schoolwork and participating in recreational activities such as practicing yoga, playing games, playing basketball or drawing with sidewalk chalk outdoors, or watching movies with themes and content that fit the therapeutic model of the program.


Once the youth is deemed clinically stable for discharge Monarch’s staff will work to develop an appropriate discharge plan, crisis plan, and make any necessary recommendations and referrals for continued treatment and services. These plans are communicated to the youth, their guardian(s) and natural supports, and other community partners who are involved in the youth’s care as necessary.

Visiting Youth in Treatment
Visitation of youth is essential to their care; we encourage visitation throughout the day by appointment only. Please speak with a member of our staff for current visiting hours and to schedule your visit.

Additional guidelines and details regarding the visiting policy can be found in our FAQ section.


As a voluntary admission, notice of this admission will be submitted to the Clerk of Superior Court in order to set a hearing date. The legally responsible adult(s) will be made aware of the hearing date. This hearing is designed to ensure a minor may not be kept in a facility without due process and will be scheduled within 15 days of this admission date. Within 48 hours of receipt of notice of the admission an attorney shall be appointed to ensure the best interest of the minor throughout this process. Should a minor be discharged prior to the hearing date, Monarch will notify the Clerk who will stop the process. If the minor remains in the facility on the hearing date he/she will be allowed to attend and provide testimony related to their continued stay. Following the hearing the Judge may concur with the admission and then set a length of stay. If the Judge believes there are “reasonable grounds to believe” the admission criteria exists but may need more evaluation. or the Judge can order discharge from the facility which would happen immediately following return to the facility. 

Should a legal guardian request discharge in writing, the minor may continue to be supported in the facility for up to 72 hours in order to review if involuntary criteria is met. 

The youth crisis center is also able to begin the process to petition a youth for involuntary commitment (IVC), and to admit youth who have already been involuntarily committed. 

We will make every attempt to provide care for a young person ages 6-17 in crisis. At this time, we provide treatment for children and teens who meet the following criteria:

  • Individuals who are experiencing suicidal/homicidal ideations, and/or demonstrating self-injurious behaviors, with an inability to guarantee safety in a less restrictive environment
  • Individuals who are experiencing hallucinations/delusions that may affect daily functioning
  • Individuals who are experiencing behavioral problems that are unable to be managed in a lower level of care
  • Individuals who need to be evaluated for psychiatric medications
  • Individuals who have psychiatric needs and medical needs controlled through medication (must bring medications from home in pill bottles or bubble packs)
  • Individuals whose medical needs can be safely managed in a non-medical setting
  • Individuals must be ambulatory and not in need of IV medications and IV fluids
  • Individuals with MH/SUD needs or mild I/DD needs
  • Individuals who desire an alternative to inpatient hospitalization but still need a secure environment for psychiatric treatment and stabilization

Click here to download a PDF of the eligibility criteria.

Insurance eligibility

  • NC Medicaid
  • NC Health Choice
  • Self Pay
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina*

*BCBS member eligibility and coverage varies by policy and must be verified prior to admission

Please contact your insurance provider for details on private insurance eligibility


Anyone may refer a youth in crisis to the SECU Youth Crisis Center, including other mental health providers, primary care providers, school personnel, parents, other family members and friends. Please call ahead to speak with our nurse to ensure bed availability and for appropriate screening.  

Referrals may be made to the SECU Youth Crisis Center 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Referrals: [email protected] 

Local Phone: (704) 206-2342, option 8 
Toll Free Phone: (844) 263-0050, option 8 

The SECU Youth Crisis Center, a Monarch program, is the first of its kind in North Carolina and serves as an alternative to the emergency department and to hospitalization for youth experiencing a behavioral health crisis and in need of specialized psychiatric treatment. The center utilizes a trauma-informed approach to care and does not force medications or utilize chemical or physical restraints but employs other therapeutic forms of de-escalation. 

The center was designed with the utmost priority of ensuring the safety of the youth served while also providing a warm and welcoming environment. State-of-the-art equipment such as specialized anti-ligature fixtures, security cameras and a PinPoint alarm system help to keep both people supported and staff at the center safe. 

In addition to utilizing standard evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the clinical team at the YCC also employs other forms of therapy such as art and occupational therapy. The center also has a large,  secure courtyard which provides opportunities for youth to get fresh air and enjoy the outdoors. Complete with a professional-grade basketball hoop, covered porch with picnic tables, and surrounded by a serene, wooded area, the courtyard is a great place for youth to expend energy and unwind. 


What personal items are youth permitted to bring to the SECU Youth Crisis Center?

School appropriate clothes are the designated dress code for the facility, unless under precautions then scrub attire will be provided. Clothing should be appropriate for a public setting. Staff will ultimately determine appropriateness; however, the following guidelines are in place:

  • No skirts, tights or leggings
  • No belts, hoodies, sweatpants or other clothing with strings
  • No jewelry or shoelaces
  • No clothing with profane images or language (including drug references, vulgar language or sexually suggestive)
  • Shorts must be below the fingertips with arms extended
  • No excessively tight or revealing
  • Top straps must be three fingertips wide
  • Two changes of clothing are recommended. A washer and dryer are available in the unit. Staff will assist with laundering clothing as needed. Loaning or exchanging clothing at any time is prohibited.

To maintain a safe environment, the following items are the only items permitted into the unit:

  1. Two changes of appropriate, comfortable clothes
  2. Medically necessary assistive devices (hearing aids, glasses, etc.)
  3. Home medications (must be supplied labeled and in appropriate individual packaging)
    *We will not assume responsibility for any lost or damaged items.

What food and beverages are provided for youth in the center?

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided seven days a week at regular times. All food and drink will be consumed in the multipurpose room. Snacks are also available at designated times. Outside food and drink, along with caffeinated beverages, are not permitted at any time.

May I visit my child while he/she is at the Youth Crisis Center?

Visitation of youth is essential to their care; we encourage visitation throughout the day by appointment only. Please speak with a member of our staff for current visiting hours and to schedule your visit.

Immediate family members and designated guardians are highly encouraged to visit. The safety and social courtesy of our visitors and youth will be made a priority. Visitors are not allowed to bring personal items into the facility.

During intake, the legal guardian will provide a list of individuals considered immediate family members that may visit. Upon arrival to visit, photo identification will be required. Only two visitors are permitted at a time, and no visitors under the age of 18 will be permitted. Staff are unavailable to watch minors brought to the center during visitation.

How is the State Employee’s Credit Union affiliated with the SECU Youth Crisis Center?

The member-funded SECU Foundation provided a very generous one-time grant to assist Monarch and other community partners in opening the youth crisis center in January 2018. Read more about the youth crisis center and the SECU Foundation’s support HERE


How do I make a referral to the SECU Youth Crisis Center?

Referrals may be made to the SECU Youth Crisis Center 24/7, 365 days a year. Please email or call ahead to speak with a nurse regarding availability and eligibility.

Referral Email Address: [email protected]

Local Phone: (704) 206-2342, option 8
Toll Free Phone: (844) 263-0050, option 8

What information will I be asked for when calling to make a referral?

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Medicaid number, or other insurance information
  • Current diagnosis (if known)
  • Current medications
  • Name and contact information for guardian
    Current symptoms, behaviors, and nature of crisis

How can I obtain information regarding the youth’s treatment at the center?

Please feel free to call the center directly anytime and speak with a member of our staff. Our psychiatrist will also be in touch regarding the youth’s treatment and status.

What information will be shared with the agency/provider assuming follow-up care after a youth is discharged from the center?

The youth’s discharge plan and crisis plan will be explained in detail to his/her guardian prior to discharge, and a copy of each is provided. Staff encourage the guardian to share this information with others who may be involved in his/her care, and staff will assist in making additional copies for the guardian if desired.

A release of information must be signed by the youth’s guardian to be able to share information directly with any other agency or provider. With the appropriate release in place, the agency or provider may contact the youth crisis center to request information about the youth’s care and treatment as needed. Sometimes Monarch’s medical records department must be involved in sharing copies of documents and other information.