CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will be receiving more than $440K to help expand mental health care services for children and youth in the Mountain State.

According to U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), the funding is being provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law in June 2022.

The senators say the funding will help make mental health care more accessible to young people across the state. This comes just days after the state received $1.7 million for an adult mental health program.

“It’s important that we do what we can to ensure our children have quality and accessible health care services, particularly when it comes to mental health. It’s welcome news to see this funding heading to our state’s health department to strengthen available services in West Virginia, and increase access to mental health care in our communities for our youth. Our children in West Virginia are the future of our state, and I will continue to advocate for the services and resources they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives,” Capito said.

The senators, both members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, say these resources are needed because of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on people’s mental health.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional burdens on many young West Virginians facing mental health issues, and the pandemic has often made it more difficult to access treatment. I’m pleased HHS is investing more than $440K to bolster mental healthcare services in West Virginia schools and communities, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding,” said Manchin.