CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A new program has been created in West Virginia to help at-risk children in foster care who are fighting mental health problems.

Aetna and the Community Care of West Virginia launched the “Critical Access to Pediatric Psychiatry Program” today, Aug. 22, 2023. The goal of the new program is to help bring a faster response to mental health evaluation to kids in foster care.

The program will receive $1.5 million that will go to providing more doctors and better support in rural areas.

“We really are very excited about this. This is a program that is hopefully going to provide some relief to a lot of foster families in the state, hopefully preserve some foster placements,” said Kevin Junkins, Chief Medical Officer of Community Care of West Virginia. “It’s a model we don’t see a lot of even throughout the United States, so we’re really excited to pilot this to see where we can go with it.”

People who are enrolled with Mountain Health Promise through Aetna can access the new program.