Staffing issues force temporary closure of behavioral health crisis center in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach behavioral health center that helps people experiencing psychiatric crises and substance abuse withdrawal will temporarily close due to “critical” staffing issues.

The city’s Department of Human Services Pathways Center at Birdneck Circle is set to close on Wednesday, Nov. 24.

“Taking this step to reduce services is not a decision that was taken lightly,” said DHS Director Aileen L. Smith. “Unfortunately, staffing levels have reached a point where both safety and quality of care for our clients could be negatively impacted. DHS will continue to explore options to actively recruit staff to support our operations.”

Officials say Pathways can typically help 16 people at a time with services such as detoxification, and capacity was reduced to eight people due to the pandemic. However the center is still experiencing staffing issues and the city says remaining staff will be moved to other areas in DHS with vacant positions.

This comes just days after Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation announced they were closing 14 childcare before-school and after-school programs due to staffing shortages. Other departments in the city are also experiencing shortages such as groundskeeping.

If you’d like to apply to help reopen The Pathways Center, click here.

Those experiencing a crisis can call Virginia Beach’s behavioral health emergency services, available 24/7, at 757-385-0888. Adult outpatient services can be found by calling 757-385-0511.

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