CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTRF) – The month of May will bring about many important conversations as part of Mental Health Awareness month. As those conversations happen, “Help 4 West Virginia” wants to make sure people know there are resources available as fast as you can dial the phone. 

Before you read any farther, if you or someone you know needs help, call 1-844-HELP-4WV or visit HELP4WV.com.

The referral line also has very specific mental health help for kids. 

First Choice Services, which runs the hotline, said it gets calls from parents looking for services to help their children. They also receive third-party calls, which are someone asking for advice for a family member. In other cases, the caller just needs someone to talk to. 

It’s important to remember that we do have community help for any child in West Virginia who is struggling with mental health issues, depression, addiction. Parents, caregivers just need to reach out to our hotline and we have 24/7 help available here. 

Sheila Moran, Director of Marketing & Communications, First Choice Services

If the caller is in crisis, the hotline can also connect them with the children’s mobile crisis response team in their area.

No matter what they problem, HELP4WV said they’re there 24/7 to help, especially because they know a mental health crisis can really impact children. 

When a child is struggling at school, at home if they have a parent who is struggling with a mental-health issue, that can cause them to struggle as well. It’s really a variety, but the entire family is affected in the emotional impact of what it’s like to take on a family member’s mental health concerns.

Ann Hammond, Program Director, HELP4WV

HELP4WV compiled a list of possible signs that parents and caregivers can look for that may indicate a child is struggling with mental health issues. They include:

  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks; crying regularly, feeling fatigued, feeling unmotivated
  • Trying to harm or kill themselves or making plans to do so
  • Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others
  • 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; waking up early and acting agitated

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-844-HELP-4WV or visit HELP4WV.com.