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Editorial: Mental Health: Know the resources available to you

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Declaring an awareness month is easy. Using the extra attention given during that month to actually make a difference is another story. But state Department of Human Services Bureau for Behavioral Health officials are certainly trying during this Mental Health Awareness Month.

West Virginia joins the national effort to focus on the theme “Where to Start: Mental Health in a Changing World,” which focuses on everyone’s right to feel supported and empowered as they seek help facing life’s overwhelming pressures.

Resources are everywhere, but those who are struggling do not always know where to start. Those looking to support that journey can explore the #BeThe1To campaign, which looks at the steps everyone can take to prevent suicide. Those five steps are available at www.bethe1to.com.

HELP4WV offers 24/7 call, chat or text support through 1-844-HELP4WV to anyone struggling with addiction or other mental health issues. There is also a Children’s Crisis and Referral Line that provides parenting support, crisis counseling, and local resources to families.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline also gives 24/7 direct access to trained crisis counselors.

“Residents can also call or text 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support,” according to the DoHS. “988 also serves as the Veterans Crisis Line (press option 1).”

Another way residents can help is by taking part in a survey that gathers feedback on mental health services provided between Oct. 1, 2023 and Aug. 1, 2024. That data will help the BBH develop its block grant report to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“This month, we aim to shine a light on the importance of mental well-being in our communities,” said Christina Mullins, DoHS deputy secretary of mental health and substance use disorders. “In times of struggle, it’s crucial to utilize the resources available to help our friends, family, and neighbors navigate their journey towards healing and resilience. When we extend compassion and understanding to those in need, West Virginians can bolster one another in difficult times.”

Facing a mental health issue, or struggling to support someone who is, can make one feel helpless. But this month (and all the time) we must remember there is help available, and that there is plenty we can do.

Read more: https://www.newsandsentinel.com/opinion/editorials/2024/05/mental-health-know-the-resources-available-to-you/

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