CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Throughout 2021, the Help4WV‘s Children’s Crisis and Referral Line has offered services to families and children with behavioral health issues in West Virginia.

People who experience a behavioral health crisis and need services are urged to call the referral line rather than visit an emergency room. The helpline links families with regional mobile crisis response and stabilization teams who can help de-escalate by phone or respond in person if the family chooses.  

The Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary, Bill J. Crouch, said hospital space should be reserved for critically ill patients, especially during this pandemic.

“The hospitals and emergency departments have so many patients who need services related to their COVID-19 symptoms and other physical ailments, we want to make sure that behavioral health services are available in the least restrictive setting, and don’t expose individuals to COVID-19 and other diseases unnecessarily,” Nikki Tennis, Office Director for Children Youth and Families at The Bureau for Behavioral Health.

Services are available 24 hours a day and are available by calling or texting 1-844-HELP4WV (1-844-435-7498). There is also an option to chat online.