CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia DHHR Bureau for Behavioral Health officials say the pandemic was difficult for everyone but especially tough on children. On May 2, Governor Jim Justice recognized the first week of may as Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week in West Virginia.

Officials say that mental health is just as important as physical health, and guardians should look for out for emotional and behavioral changes in their children.

“Making the call, that first call, is the hardest part. Once you’ve made that call and asked for an appointment or help, the folks on the other end of that line know what that feels like, and they’ll help you along the rest of the way, and you’ll be glad you did. So, I really would encourage families, whoever they are, that first call is the hardest call, and you’ll be glad you made it,” said Christina Mullins, West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health Commissioner.

Through the Children’s Crisis and Referral Line, mobile crisis teams can respond within an hour if a family needs immediate face to face support. One number for the crisis hotline is (844) 435-7498. On the site, there are options to chat or email.