CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — More students in the state will have access to Expanded School Mental Health (ESMH) services thanks to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).

The DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH) awarded grants to 19 schools selected through a competitive application process.

  • Clay-Battelle Middle and High School, Mason Dixon Elementary and University High School will be served by Florence Crittenton.
  • Glade Elementary, Hacker Valley Elementary, Webster County High School and Webster Springs Elementary will be served by On-Gauley Medical Center.
  • Arnoldsburg Elementary and Pleasant Hill Elementary will be served by Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center.
  • Belmont Elementary, Blennerhassett Middle School, Jackson Middle School, Ravenswood Middle School, Ripley High School, St. Mary’s Elementary, Ravenswood High School and Ripley Middle School will be served by Westbrook Health Services.
  • Williamson Elementary and Williamson Middle School will be served by Williamson Health and Wellness Center.

The awards bring the total number of West Virginia schools receiving grant-funded ESMH services to 93 schools across 30 counties.

Map courtesy of the West Virginia Expanded School Mental Health (ESMH) website.

ESMH is a multi-tiered support system in which schools, families and community partners collaborate to improve student mental health. The EMSH framework focuses on:

  • Continuing prevention, early intervention and mental health treatment;
  • Serving all students;
  • Building upon core programs and services provided by schools;
  • Emphasizing shared responsibility between schools, mental health providers and community partners.

“We want every student to thrive,” BBH Commissioner Christina Mullins said. “Expanded School Mental Health can improve the entire school culture for staff and students while giving more intensive mental health support to students in need. The Bureau for Behavioral Health is proud to invest in supporting schools and students.”

To learn more, visit the ESMH website. A list of grant-funded ESMH schools is also on the site.