The Life’s Journey Mental Health Service Agency will celebrate the opening of a new Portsmouth office on Friday.
The location, the agency’s third in Hampton Roads, will be the hub for an Assertive Community Treatment program, which is a multilayered approach to supporting individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
In the program, a care team helps clients develop coping mechanisms, manage medication, obtain or maintain stable housing and develop job skills. The team might include a psychiatric care provider, nursing staff, mental health workers, substance abuse disorder staff and peer support specialists.
“We don’t have our clients come to the office to see us,” said Shanté Williams, the company’s chief operating officer. “We go to them, in their homes or in their communities, in the homeless shelters, on the streets, wherever they are.”
Life’s Journey offers other services including comprehensive behavioral health treatment, outpatient therapy and substance abuse treatment.
Candidates for the ACT program often struggle to maintain employment and housing, Williams said. Many have been frequently hospitalized and may have a high level of involvement with the criminal justice system or social services.
The agency has about 250 clients between its Norfolk and Hampton locations. She’s not certain how many overall are homeless but about 35% of the Norfolk clients are.
The agency accepts a variety of insurance plans, but many of the individuals who are a good fit for ACT are eligible for Medicaid, and Life’s Journey can help people determine whether they’re eligible and sign up for it. “We’re not in the practice of turning anyone away,” Williams said.
Call 757-622-0700 or visit lifesjourneyservices.com for more information.
Katrina Dix, 757-222-5155, katrina.dix@virginiamedia .com