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COVID highlights deficiencies, sparks innovation in mental health care for West Virginians

By Wren Downs, The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — To attend his weekly Zoom meetings, one patient at the Center for Hope and Healing addiction treatment facility in Morgantown,  drives his ATV four miles down the road and holds his cell phone toward  the sky to search for service.

Another patient walks to the local McDonald’s and sits in the parking lot, using the restaurant’s WiFi because he doesn’t have his own at home.

The coronavirus pandemic  made things difficult for everyone, but especially for individuals seeking treatment for mental health issues and substance abuse disorders — and especially in rural West Virginia.

Since the start of the pandemic, treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders has been moved mostly online, but according to the West Virginia Broadband Report, West Virginia ranks 47 out of 50 states in broadband connectivity. In 2017, 30% of residents did not have internet access…

To read more: https://www.dominionpost.com/2021/07/05/covid-highlights-deficiencies-sparks-innovation-in-mental-health-care-for-west-virginians/

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