Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin this week announced the launch of West Virginia’s first Behavioral Health Referral & Outreach Call Center, a statewide 24-hour call center, providing resources and referral support for those seeking behavioral health services. The call center was unanimously recommended by Gov. Tomblin’s Regional Task Forces and prioritized by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse (GACSA).
“Substance abuse affects individuals and families across our state each and every day,” Gov. Tomblin said. “As we continue to work with affected families, doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement in communities across the state, we must look at substance abuse from all angles and identify ways to combat this epidemic. By investing in support services, we can increase access to preventive services and substance abuse treatment options. We have made great progress, and this new resource gives us another opportunity to support a sustainable, long-term solution to keep our communities safe and provide support to those West Virginians who need it most.”
The 24-hour call center will maintain a live database with service options – updated daily with residential facilities’ bed capacity and additional treatment information. The call center works in conjunction with existing on-call or crisis support systems to strengthen ease of navigation and connectivity for callers.
Individuals contacting the call center will be offered behavioral health education materials, information on available behavioral health services in or near their respective location, as well as referral to the appropriate level of care based on individual needs in coordination with regional and local providers. Call center staff will track and follow-up with all calls made to the center to ensure timely access, quality assistance and successful outcomes.
“We are so pleased that Gov. Tomblin embraced this concept as a way to help all West Virginians as we continue to fight substance abuse and focus on the importance of early intervention, treatment and support,” Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling said. “The Center will create a centralized access resource for behavioral health needs in West Virginia and address the top two identified barriers for individuals seeking services: access and navigation.”
An Announcement of Funding Availability (AFA) will be issued by the WV Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities in the near future.