DHHR reminds public of access to behavioral health resources


FILE – A man uses a cell phone in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. People in crisis and those trying to help them will have a new three-digit number, 988, to reach the national suicide prevention network starting in July. Federal health officials on Monday are announcing more than $280 million to smooth the transition from the current 10-digit number. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has sent out a reminder to caregivers to use Help4WV’s Children’s Crisis and Referral Line for children suffering from behavioral health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Children’s Crisis and Referral Line is a service of the Help4WV substance use and mental health support line that connects people with local behavioral health services. The service is available 24/7 via text or call to 844-HELP4WV (844-435-7498) or by chat at https://www.help4wv.com/ccl.

Families can be linked, in times of crises, to regional mobile crisis response and stabilization teams who can “help de-escalate by phone or respond in person.”

“With the West Virginia hospital system already overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging flu season, we need to reserve our hospitals to serve our critically ill patients,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “The Children’s Crisis and Referral Line is a critically important resource for the mental well-being and safety of West Virginia’s children and families.”

The service can also be used for referrals to non-emergency behavioral health services as well as suicide intervention specialists who can “assist healthcare providers and families with discharge and safety planning and wraparound service providers.”

A federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was utilized by the DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health to fund the Children’s Crisis and Referral Line.

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