HELP4WV Offers Assistance for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues

Recent events, both nationwide and locally, have shed a greater light on gaps in assistance for mental health and addiction problems. West Virginia residents now have another resource in finding help if they are battling either of these issues. Jeremy Smith, outreach coordinator for Help4WV, explained more.

“Our company received a grant from the state a few months ago to set up and launch a 24 hour a day, and seven day a week substance abuse call line, where people can call us, and we can help them find treatment in their area. What we had found was that a lot of people in the state that are suffering from substance abuse issues had no idea how to start the process of getting treatment. They didn’t know where to turn, what facilities to call, what options they had. So we launched our call line, and we are able to get them linked up with treatments, start the process right away when they call us. We can explain all of their options to them, and help them get into a treatment facility that’s best for them and their family.

“There’s never been a coordinated effort to be able to link up all the different treatment options in West Virginia. We have over 900 resources and facilities that offer treatment options to people. We have that in our database, and we’re able to look and see what options people have in their area, and get them linked up with the treatment facility, rather than people just having to look in the phone book, or ask family and friends what options there are – we have the whole list right there in front of us, and we can get them linked up right away.

“Any West Virginian can call our help line, 1-844- 435-7498, and they’ll be able to talk with a live person, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and then we also offer a couple of other services. If somebody’s not comfortable talking over the phone, they can also text us at 1-844-HELP4WV, or you can go on our website and there’s an instant chat feature as well, so there’s a lot of different ways to get ahold of us, and we’re always available to talk to you, and get you into treatment.”

Mr. Smith stressed the confidentiality of the service.

“In fact, callers don’t even have to give us their name. It can be completely anonymous, but if you are comfortable giving us your name, everything is confidential. Of course, we are here to help as well. We can follow up to see how you’re doing every few days, or every few months, but everything you tell us is going to be confidential. It’s only for the purposes of helping you find treatments for substance abuse or mental health issues. There’s also an option for people to be able to talk to somebody who’s been through substance abuse treatments themselves, and they can kind of get that first hand perspective of what can be expected, and the different options out there, so that’s a big part of our program, and you can always ask to be able to speak to somebody who’s been through this situation themselves, and we’re really proud that we can offer that kind of service to people”

Mr. Smith noted that the service was not only a resource for those needing help, but for those providing it as well.

“This call line is also a great resource for other facilities out there – so hospitals, or other mental health centers, social workers, or nurses, or even parole officers. A lot of times, these facilities don’t know all of the different resources available to people that’s going through a substance abuse issue, and they can most definitely give us a call, and we can help make their job easier.

“If people do need more information, they can visit us on our website, . We have all of our resources and our contact information right there on the website.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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