Funding Awarded for Expanded School Mental Health Program in Wyoming County

WYOMING COUNTY, WV (WOAY) The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Bureau for Behavioral Health has awarded a one-year grant totaling $80,000 to Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center for two new Expanded School Mental Health (ESMH) sites in Wyoming County.

Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center located in Princeton, West Virginia currently has ESMH programs in McDowell and Mercer counties and will expand the program to Wyoming County.

The ESMH program is provided through a partnership with DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health, the West Virginia Department of Education and the Marshall University School Health Technical Assistance Center.  ESMH aims to develop and strengthen policies, practices, and services that promote learning and social-emotional well-being for all West Virginia youth through a collaborative process that engages schools, families, and community-based agencies. Expected student outcomes of this approach are reduced barriers to learning, improved academic performance, improved attendance, and improved school functioning/behavior.

“The West Virginia ESMH program serves all students and emphasizes shared responsibility between schools and community mental health,” said Nancy Sullivan, Acting Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health.  “The program aims to help every student achieve his or her full potential by providing the full continuum of prevention, early intervention, and treatment.”

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