CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH) has partnered with First Choice Services to offer a children’s crisis and referral line to interrupt behavioral health crises and connect families and youths with behavioral health services in their communities. Families and youths can call, text, or chat the Children’s Crisis and Referral Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 844HELP4WV or 844-435-7498.
An added service of HELP4WV substance use and mental health support, the Children’s Crisis and Referral Line connects families and youths with crisis and non-emergency behavioral health services. In crisis situations, the line links families with regional Mobile Crisis Response and Stabilization Teams who can help de-escalate the behavioral health crisis by phone or respond in person in most areas of the state if the family chooses. The line also serves as an access point for referrals to non-emergency behavioral health services in the caller’s community.
BBH funded the Children’s Crisis and Referral line with a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to keep children and youths thriving in their homes, schools, and communities. It aims to help prevent out-of-home placements and emergency room visits due to mental health concerns.
“Families, children, and young adults are experiencing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Christina Mullins, Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health. “This new Children’s Crisis and Referral Line can serve their behavioral health needs so they can stay safely in their homes, schools, and communities.”
In addition to the new Children’s Crisis and Referral Line as part of HELP4WV, First Choice Services is the call center for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Help304 Emotional Strengthline, Jobs & Hope WV, WV211, WV Tobacco Quitline, and Problem Gambling Help Network of WV. Call agents are trained on the needs of callers across lines.
“We are excited to offer this much-needed new service to children and families,” said Lata Menon’s CEO of First Choice Services. “While navigating resources can be challenging under the best circumstance, in a crisis, it can be nearly impossible. Our HELP4WV Specialists are available 24/7 to assist callers of all ages in finding the best behavioral health and addiction resources based on their unique needs. The addition of Child’s Crisis resources to our network creates an opportunity for youth, their loved ones and community professionals to access information and referral with one call.”
To learn more about the Children’s Crisis and Referral Line, visit https://www.help4wv.com/ccl.