After closure of VB therapy company, others look to fill mental health void in Hampton Roads
Soon after the local Christian Psychotherapy Services closed its doors, the staff of Life’s Journey Mental Health Services moved into a larger new office suite as part of a planned expansion. Thank you to WAVY-TV for including us in this report. With expanded services and staff, we are here for former patients who need help and therapists who want to expand their employment with Life’s Journey.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A company sign atop a modern office building on Corporation Lane in Virginia Beach has been removed, but lingering questions remain surrounding the sudden closure ofChristian Psychotherapy Services, a therapy company with four locations across the Hampton Roads area.
Three weeks after 10 On Your Side published the story of the closure, there is still no official word on why the practice with a patient database of 60,000 and 100 employees closed its doors with no notice to patients.
On the weekend of Jan. 9, practitioners, as required by state law, were desperately trying to reach their clients by any means necessary — including posts on social media — to let them know the practice had closed.
According to the State Corporation Commission, the practice remains in good standing. It was founded by Dr. Page Huff, who died unexpectedly last year. WAVY-TV 10 has reached out to a Virginia Beach attorney who is listed in SCC documents and the practice’s registered agent.
In several interviews conducted over a period of weeks, those connected to the practice or to Dr. Huff described him as a wonderful man who elevated mental health care for thousands in Hampton Roads.
Benicia Hernandez is the CEO of Life’s Journey Mental Health Services in Norfolk and spoke highly of the doctor.
“Dr. Huff was an amazing man and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to know him,” said Hernandez.
10 On Your Side first profiled Life’s Journey early in the pandemic when employees were desperately trying to round up cell phones to give to homeless patients who, because of social distancing, were forced to use telephones and teleconferencing for their therapy sessions.
Since then, Life’s Journey has expanded its office space and is now reaching out to former Christian Psychotherapy Services patients and employees.
“We are currently looking for great therapists that want to expand their employment with Life’s Journey. We want to be able to fully serve a portion of those who had depended on that agency [Christian Psychotherapy Services] for so very long” said Hernandez.
Life’s Journey is one of a dozen practices that have reached out to 10 On Your Side in efforts to reach former Christian Psychotherapy Services patients who require regular therapy sessions and prescription drugs to help them cope during these difficult times.
“When you think about the isolation, the fear, the loneliness, it just has created such chaos in individuals’ lives. I don’t think we have seen the full impact of this depression, anxiety, and just an overall feeling of hopelessness,” she said.
Hernandez and other practitioners have serious concerns about former Christian Psychotherapy Services patients who could soon run out of medications used to treat serious mental health disorders.
“In a couple of months, everybody is going to be scrambling to find someone to fill their medications for depression and that is really when we are going to see the effect of [the Christian Psychotherapy Services closure], ” said Hernandez.
If a mental health patient is in crisis and first responders are called for help, mental health professionals say family members should notify authorities immediately about a diagnosis, so that precautions can be taken to protect patients and first responders.