Emily Rice Published

Justice Recognizes Childrens Mental Health Awareness Week

A child wearing a labcoat studies a human brain with a microscope in front of a chalkboard.iStockphoto.com

During his weekly briefing, Gov. Jim Justice proclaimed this week is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Christina Mullins, commissioner for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Behavioral Health spoke to the importance of treating mental illness at every stage of life.

“During the month of May, we focus on the importance of mental health at all ages and stages,” Mullins said. “But during this week, we bring special attention to children’s mental health. Positive mental health is crucial for their overall well-being, happiness, academic performance and future success. By prioritizing mental health needs, we can help children grow resilient, thriving individuals.”

Mullins reminded West Virginians there are resources available for those in crisis. West Virginia operates a 24/7 suicide and crisis lifeline that can be reached by dialing 988.

“I cannot overemphasize the importance of reaching out for help at any time,” Mullins said. “Someone shows signs of worsening mental health, you might notice signs of sadness, anxiety, or even being in the moment of a crisis. Those call lines can help at any moment.”

In addition, the West Virginia Children’s Crisis and Referral line provides 24/7 access through calls and chat functions. That number is 1-844-HELP4WV.

“I want to thank West Virginia’s partners, providers, our governor and our legislators for valuing and prioritizing mental health care and access for children,” Mullins said. “As we worked continue to build resources statewide West Virginia can be proud of the progress we have made in helping children and adults access needed services.”