Department of Health and Human Services Funds Training For Mental Health Providers


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.

The announcement came during the first Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. Over the past five days, federal agencies have announced several new efforts to address the national prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, including supporting telemedicine programs that expand access to substance use disorder treatment in rural communities.

According to a press release, 1 in 5 American adults had a mental or substance use disorder in 2015, but fewer than 39 percent of them received treatment. West Virginia only has enough mental health providers for 60 percent of the current need, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.