Bureau for Behavioral Health
Bureau for Behavioral Health

Children, Youth and Families

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The Bureau’s Office of Children, Youth and Families administers programs to promote the behavioral health of children and youths in West Virginia communities through primary prevention and individualized services for mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

We envision healthy communities where integrated resources are accessible for everyone to achieve wellness, personal goals, and self-determination. 

Supporting Children at School

Expanded School Mental Health Expanded School Mental Health (ESMH) is a comprehensive system of behavioral health services and programs that builds on core services provided by schools.  ESMH includes the full continuum of prevention, early  intervention, and treatment.  Prevention strategies work by either increasing protective factors (e.g., resiliency, social involvement, recognition of positive behavior) or decreasing risk factors (e.g., preventing early initiation of substance use, rebelliousness, low socioeconomic status).

Partnerships with WV Department of Education (Project AWARE) Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) State Education Agency Grant  supports comprehensive plans of activities, services and strategies to decrease youth violence and the healthy development of school-aged children. The West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH) partners with the WV Department of Education to provide Expanded School Mental Health in select schools in Cabell, Clay and Harrison counties.

Trauma Informed Elementary Schools (TIES) Trauma Informed Elementary Schools (TIES) is an early education assessment and intervention program designed to create trauma-informed schools. The program focuses on early elementary grades pre-K through first grade.

Treating Youth with Substance Use Disorder and/or Serious Mental Illness

First Episode Psychosis (FEP) Program Quiet Minds is a program that provides for the early identification and treatment of first episode psychosis (FEP).  Quiet Minds is a collaborative, recovery-oriented approach for youth ages 15-25 who are experiencing first   episode psychosis, therefore reducing the disruption to the young person’s functioning and psychosocial development. 

Regional Youth Service Centers Regional Youth Service Centers (RYSCs) coordinate community-based mental health services for youth and young adults ages 12-25 and partners with families and youth.  RYSCs provide substance use treatment, including early detection and recovery support services, and other types of mental health treatment and recovery wellbeing services. 

Children's Mental Health Wraparound Services The Children’s Mental Health Wraparound is a system of care that provides resources to help children, ages 0-21 who have a mental health diagnosis, or an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) combined with a serious behavioral health or mental health concern.  The Children’s Mental Health Wraparound helps children and families plan and receive the support they need while remaining in their homes and communities.

Preventing Suicide and Substance Use/Misuse 

FDA Prevention Program The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors retailer, manufacturer, importer, and distributor compliance with Federal tobacco laws and regulations and takes corrective action when violations occur.

Substance Use Prevention Substance Use Prevention focuses on helping individuals develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to make good choices or change harmful behaviors.  Substance use prevention and early intervention efforts are most effective when they are ongoing, evidence-based, and implemented with fidelity.
Prevention First Network The Prevention First Network is a made up of six regional Prevention Lead Organizations that provide substance use prevention throughout all 55 counties in West Virginia.  Prevention First is a proactive, comprehensive stance to showcase the importance of substance use/misuse prevention throughout West Virginia.

Suicide Prevention  Suicide is preventable and suicide prevention works.  The Bureau for Behavioral Health’s Suicide Prevention program offers helpful resources and evidence-based training for the prevention of suicide.

Synar Program and Retailer Education  

Synar Program and Retailer Education The federal Synar Amendment, named for its sponsor, Congressman Mike Synar, requires states to have laws prohibiting the sale and distribution of tobacco products to minors.  West Virginia’s Synar Program includes merchant/retailer education and conducting random/unannounced federally-required inspections of tobacco retailers. 

Engaging Families

Statewide Family Advisory Board The Statewide and Regional Family Advisory Board is a forum where families are heard. The purpose of the Statewide and Regional Family Advisory Board is for families to provide feedback to the Bureau for Behavioral Health, Office of Children, Youth and Families and local mental health agencies. The feedback assists in improving services.

Family Advocacy Support and Training (FAST) The Family Advocacy, Support and Training (FAST) Program is a statewide parent and youth network that engages families in the planning, management and evaluation of their child’s mental health treatment and service needs. FAST has four regional advocates, an attorney, and a statewide resource specialist and serves all 55 West Virginia counties. FAST Flyer
The FAST Referral form can be accessed here.

Regional Family Coordinators Family Coordinators can assist you by informing you of resources in your area. They can also direct you through those services. Do you have a need in your family and do not know where to start searching? Are you or is someone in  your family anxious, depressed or struggling with substance use? Are you or your children frustrated with virtual learning, need school supplies or food? Do you need support with parenting? Family Coordinators can direct you to the  resources you need.

Family Connections Newsletters


Reducing Risk for Youth 

Children’s Mobile Crisis Response Families with youth ages 0-21 experiencing an emotional or behavioral crisis can call the Bureau for Behavioral Health Children’s Mobile Crisis Response and Stabilization at 1-844-HELP4WV or 1-844-435-7498. The family defines what is a crisis for the child or youth. Families do not have to have medical insurance or be enrolled in additional services to access this important service, which is available to help disrupt and de-escalate the crisis. The Crisis Specialist will begin to respond immediately once they are called, and if desired come to the home, school, or community approximately within one hour of the request.

Regional Clinic Coordinators The West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health and Bureau for Children and Families fund four master-level Regional Clinical Coordinators (RCCs) with clinical and child-serving system experience and knowledge who are tasked with building comprehensive review team to pool additional experts across child-serving systems. The RCCs coordinate with professionals and families to identify a child’s mental health needs and develop recommendations to meet those needs. 

WV Teen Court Teen Court is a unique “second chance” justice program for youth between the ages of 11 and 18 who are alleged to have committed a status offense or an act of delinquency which would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult. Upon successful completion of the program charges against the defendant are dismissed. 

Positive Behavior Support Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a package of evidence-based strategies to improve quality of life and decreasing challenging behaviors.  The PBS program offers a range of individualized services to persons with serious emotional disturbances who are at risk for out of home placement.

Children's Crisis and Referral Line The children’s crisis and referral line serves children, youth, and young adults ages 0-21 who are in emotional distress or with a diagnosis of a serious emotional disturbance or serious mental illness and their families who are in crisis or seeking referrals to appropriate community-based behavioral health services and supports for children, youth, and young adults.   The crisis line is statewide and 24/7.


The West Virginia Child Welfare Collaborative is facilitated by WV DHHR for the purpose of sharing information, ideas, and feedback surrounding major child welfare reform initiatives with stakeholders. .  

DHHR Bureau for Behavioral Health
Room 350 | 350 Capitol Street | Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 558-0627 | Fax: (304) 558-1008
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