Virtual State-wide Regional Community Meetings: Substance Abuse and Mental Health

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – People and families affected by substance use disorder or mental health issues can sign up for virtual community meetings to discuss their experiences with the care in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and West Virginia University’s Office of Health Affairs is conducting a series of virtual regional meetings across the state with the intention of gathering opinions on the accessibility and quality of care for substance abuse and mental health.

Jonathan Young, who is from the WVU School of Public Health, said, “We’re really targeting the people who’ve been through the behavioral health system or know people close to them who’s been through it in some manner.”

The purpose of this meeting is to learn about what’s working or not working in West Virginia’s behavioral health care system and that information will be used to help improve services that are offered.

After the first meeting on May 12, Young mentioned that it went well, despite the fact that it took place virtually. The meeting started out by discussing what purpose it’s serving and then it broke out to several sessions.

The three target populations are:

  • Pregnant and postpartum women
  • Transition age youth (12-25)
  • People living in rural areas

Young said, “Some of us don’t go through the behavioral health system, so we really just want to get a ground level opinion about what’s going. We want to be grounded in what the public actually needs so we can let the federal government know what the state of West Virginia needs.”

If you’re interested in participating in one of the virtual meetings, here is the schedule for the rest of the counties in WV.

The meetings will be conducted over Zoom. These meetings will open 10 minutes prior to start time in case you need to log in early and test Zoom settings.

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