Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $458,333 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). The funding was made possible through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which passed the Senate and was signed into law in June of 2022, and will help expand and enhance the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline services.
“The 988 lifeline has been a critical tool for connecting people in crisis with experienced mental and behavioral health professionals,” said Senator Manchin. “The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which I voted for last year, included support to expand and improve 988 services, including specialized services for our Veterans. I’m pleased HHS is investing additional resources for these services so that all West Virginians and Americans can receive the care they need. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to advocate for resources to support mental and behavioral healthcare in the Mountain State.”
“Suicide is a serious issue for West Virginia and our nation, which is why it is critical that we do all we can to make sure resources are available to those who are struggling,” Senator Capito said. “I joined my colleagues in introducing legislation that designated 9-8-8 as the three-digit number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline—an important resource that can go a long way in helping save lives. This funding will help expand that effort by provide an outlet for people struggling, including our nation’s Veterans, to keep the worst from happening and send them on the road to recovery.”
In July of 2022, Senator Manchin announced West Virginians and Americans nationwide who are experiencing mental health, substance use or suicide crises can call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org and be connected to trained crisis counselors. These trained crisis counselors are prepared to assist anyone experiencing a mental health emergency and the lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For Veterans experiencing a mental health crisis, a specialized hotline is available by pressing 1 after connecting or by texting “VET” to the same 988 number.