CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Since 2015, Help4WV has been providing immediate help for any West Virginian struggling with an addiction or mental health issue. They offer a 24/7 call, chat, and text line, as well as immediate help through a Helpline Specialist.
Calls have continued to increase over the years and last month the program had its busiest ever month, with nearly 1200 people seeking help. Help4WV’s Outreach Coordinator, Jeremy Smith, says they’ve served over 50,000 people in need of help.
“It’s bittersweet,” explained Smith. “On one end we are helping all of those people, but of course it says something that all of those people need help.”
The program acts as a “one-stop-shop” for anyone in the state seeking treatment for mental health or addiction. It was developed in 2015 when a series of task force meetings identified that community members felt treatment was difficult to access and navigate. Those needing help said they weren’t sure which type of treatment they needed, where it was, or how to get it.
Smith says nearly half of the Help4WV staff is in recovery themselves. Several of the staff members started their journey into recovery by calling the helpline while in active addiction and seeking help locating treatment.
“A buddy had told me about the helpline,” recalled Jordan Dennison “I had overdosed nearly a dozen times, 11 times I overdosed. They got me into treatment that same day and I’ve been in recovery ever since.”
Dennison now works as a peer recovery coach. He’s happy and healthy and has a great relationship with his son, all things that weren’t the case just a few years ago.
“This is where I belong.” He added, “Through working here I have really been able to find my passion and that is helping people through their addiction and mental health issues.”
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Help4WV here or by phone at 844-HELP-4-WV.