The 1-844-Help4WV Children’s Crisis and Referral Line is available 24/7.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The state’s 24/7 addiction and mental health hotline Help4WV, 1-844-435-7498, reminds residents that it’s not only for adults, but for kids and those concerned about kids, too.
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 40% of U.S. high school students reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless during the COVID-19 pandemic. Help4WV offers a Children’s Crisis and Referral Line with trained specialists who help callers sort through options and link them with treatment.
“When a child has mental health issues or behavioral issues, the whole family is affected,” says Help4WV Program Director Ann Hammond. Caregivers who aren’t familiar with the issues and services may not know what type of service a child needs or what steps a family needs to take to receive help, she says—and, without help, the child may end up hospitalized or placed out of the home. “Our hope with this line is to make services easier to access so more kids can get effective care.”
Do you see any of these signs in your child? If so, Help4WV says it may be time to seek help:
- feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks;
- trying to harm or kill oneself or making plans to do so;
- out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors;
- sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort, or fast breathing;
- not eating, throwing up, or using laxatives to lose weight;
- significant weight loss or gain;
- severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships;
- repeated use of drugs or alcohol;
- drastic changes in behavior, personality, or sleeping habits;
- extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still that can lead to failure in school; and
- intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends or going to classes.
Anyone who is concerned about their child’s behavior or mental health can get help 24/7 by calling 1-844-HELP-4WV or chatting online at HELP4WV.com.