West Virginia’s first 24-hour substance abuse and mental health call line
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today announced the launch of 844-HELP4WV, the first statewide 24-hour substance abuse call line, providing those battling substance abuse with information about specialized treatment and recovery services.
“Substance abuse is a heartbreaking problem individuals and families across West Virginia face every day,” Gov. Tomblin said. “As governor, fighting back against substance abuse has been one of my top priorities, and I’m proud to take our efforts to the next level by offering residents the opportunity to call for help, overcome their addiction, and return to their families, communities and workplaces.”
The new 24-hour call line will be administered through a collaborative partnership between the West Virginia DHHR and First Choice Health Systems, a West Virginia-based company that has successfully operated West Virginia’s Problem Gambler Help Line for more than 15 years.
“In addition to substance abuse recovery and treatment information, the 844-HELP4WV call line will also provide services to those battling other behavioral health struggles, such as suicide and depression,” Secretary Karen Bowling said. “Through this holistic approach, we are making sure all West Virginians have access to the treatment and care they need to achieve the bright future they deserve.”
First Choice Health Systems employees are professionally certified and trained to engage callers in conversation, working on a one-on-one basis to determine the best steps moving forward for each individual.
“Those struggling with addiction are often afraid to take the first step and seek help. With this hotline, we are offering West Virginians across the state the opportunity to talk to professionals, discuss available treatment options, choose a path and begin the road to recovery,” Gov. Tomblin said.
No callers are placed on hold and can be immediately connected with treatment staff to help determine the most appropriate treatment option. The call line also provides appointment reminders, directions, and transportation assistance to ensure callers remember their appointments and show up on time.
Follow-up phone calls are placed after the first appointment, the first month, and the first three months to help patients stay on track and have access to any additional clinical information or resources on community-based programs and local support groups.
“With medical personal onsite 24/7 and the ability to dispatch local law enforcement officers for safety checks, we are telling West Virginians in need, we care about you – and your life – and stand ready to help you build a bright future,” Gov. Tomblin said.