MARTINSBURG — West Virginia’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Helpline has now taken more than 30,000 calls, and the HELP4WV program is connecting West Virginians with resources to help them combat addiction and mental health issues, according to an official press release.
According to the release, First Choice Services and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources launched the program in September 2015 to give those struggling with addiction and mental health issues immediate help as they look for treatment options.
“We have location data for about 10,000 of the calls. Berkeley had 968 — third most in state behind Kanawha and Cabell. Morgan has 62. Jefferson had 256,” said Sheila Moran, director of marketing and communications for First Choice Services.
Many people think they have to navigate treatment options on their own, and that it is a barrier, according to Moran. She explained that the team is usually able to get callers started in treatment within 24 hours of their call.
“Thirty thousand calls is a big deal to us. But there is more work to be done. One of the things we want to focus more on this year is outreach,” Moran said. “We find that a lot of social workers and addiction professionals are aware of our service. However, we still often hear from people in the community, especially those during a crisis, that they didn’t know we existed.”
The website has a searchable database of West Virginia behavioral health providers. The helpline is staffed with trained agents who refer people to the treatment they need, according to the press release.
The helpline offers confidential support and resource referrals, including self-help groups, outpatient counseling, medication-assisted treatment, psychiatric care, emergency care and residential treatment.
The helpline also offers guidance for those seeking help for a loved one, according to the release. The program features access to recovery coaches who work in the community to provide face-to-face guidance to those going through or finishing treatment who need help coping with life’s pressures as they stay on the road to recovery.
The program features a 24-hour call and text line, 1-844-HELP4WV (1-844-435-7498). Online help, including an instant chat feature, is available at www.HELP4WV.com.