Mental Health

Corey Knollinger / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Most people are familiar with the idea of first aid — like what to do to when dealing with a cut or scrape — but not everyone knows what to do when their friend is showing signs of mental illness. There’s a class dedicated having a better mental health first aid response. One of these classes was recently held in the Northern Panhandle.  


Slick-o-bot / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia has agreed to expand mental health services for children after a federal investigation found the state unnecessarily institutionalized kids with emotional or behavioral disorders.

Elementary Classroom
Douglaspperkins / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia House has approved a bill to expand mental health services in schools.

Delegates passed the measure by a 99-0 vote Wednesday. Roane County Del. Martin Atkinson's bill would require counties to hire at least one school psychologist for every 1,000 students between kindergarten and seventh grade. The bill now heads to the Senate.

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A new study found checking work email during nonwork hours may be detrimental to your health.

The report out of Virginia Tech found that when employers expect personnel to monitor work email after hours, the result was increased employee anxiety, which affected not only the worker themselves, but their families as well.

The study found that employees don’t actually need to spend time on work in their off hours to experience harmful effects – just the expectation of availability was enough to increase strain for employees and their significant other.

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West Virginia's U.S. senators say Marshall University and West Virginia University will get federal grants to support clinical internships and field placements in mental health and drug addiction services.

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin say the Department of Health and Human Services training grants are $319,000 for West Virginia University and $213,000 for Marshall.

WVPB

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Tuesday that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is partnering with First Choice Services, a local non-profit organization based in Charleston, to answer calls from West Virginians in times of need. 

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Low birth weight is traditionally associated with physical problems such as difficulty breathing, developmental delays or hearing problems in children as they grow. But new research published in the journal Psychological Bulletin found that babies born with extremely low birth weights are at an increased risk for specific mental health problems, including Attention Deficit Disorder, anxiety, depression and shyness, beginning in childhood and extending at least into their 30s.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding more than $200,000 to train more mental health providers and substance abuse counselors in West Virginia.

Nationally, more than $44.5 million worth of grants have been awarded through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program.  West Virginia will receive $211,000 of that to train behavioral and mental health professionals.

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The organization Mental Health Matters is holding a series of panel presentations around the state to advocate for juvenile justice and community-based mental health care for youth.

Yesterday’s forum, the second of six, was held at the University of Charleston and included panelists from mental health, education and legal backgrounds. During the forum, panelists discussed West Virginia’s lack of funds for mental and behavioral health intervention, a lack of coordination of services and the statewide deficit of therapists and counselors.

Marshall University
Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

Marshall University is hosting the first meeting in a series of statewide panel presentations on mental health care for children.

The forum is set for Tuesday evening in the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus.

Daniel Walker/ WVPB

As the coal industry in Appalachia continues to decline, more and more families are struggling. Poor job prospects throughout the region are causing a lot of anxiety in families. And mental health expects say that kind of stress can accumulatively lead to mental illness. What can parents do to help their children cope with stress?

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A judge in Putnam County has proposed a program to help offenders with mental health issues stay out of jail.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Putnam Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers proposed the pretrial treatment diversion program at the Putnam County Commission meeting Tuesday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we look at a positive outcome for a situation that had the potential to turn deadly at a Philippi school where faculty, a pastor and a state trooper were able to convince student to surrender his weapon.

Kara Lofton / WVPB

Of the 718 public schools in West Virginia, 129 have school-based health centers (although note that some elementary/middle or middle/high schools share a center). Just over 30 percent of those, including Riverside High School in Belle, have mental health services.

“I think it’s [the mental health services] a good thing because a lot of teenagers struggle with depression or something wrong with them - they think that - especially in adolescence, the way the brain develops and all that stuff,” said Lillian Steel-Thomas, a senior at Riverside.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, We take a look at Expanded mental health services in West Virginia aimed at turning the tide with our academic statistics and a preview of Ashton Marra's interview with the Governor.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

In 2013, the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice launched a program called Handle With Care. The collaborative  program is meant to help children who’ve experienced abuse, neglect or other types of trauma succeed in school. The program that started on the West Side of Charleston is now expanding across the state and in other communities across the nation.

William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital
http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/ / DHHR

State officials say staff vacancies have declined at West Virginia's state-run psychiatric hospitals following court-ordered pay raises.

Mental Hospital
http://www.batemanhospital.org/

A judge has approved a plan to ease staff shortages at two West Virginia psychiatric hospitals. According to media reports, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom approved the plan for the Department of Health and Human resources hospitals.

Mental Hospital
http://www.batemanhospital.org/

  A Kanawha County judge has rejected a state agency's plan to address issues at West Virginia's two psychiatric hospitals.

The judge on Wednesday rejected proposals submitted by the state Department of Health and Human Resources regarding William R. Sharpe Hospital in Weston and Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington.

Efforts to help state veterans continue

Nov 4, 2013

The author of a study published last year on state veterans is trying to do more to help them.

Joseph Scotti has started a new organization called WHOLE Veterans. It stands for Welcome Home: Overcoming, Living, Engaging.

Scotti says it takes a lot of different people within a community to encourage veterans to reach out for help when they need assistance. He says there simply aren't enough people at the moment to deal with absolutely every veteran who needs care.