West Virginia senators announce $840k in mental health, substance use grants

West Virginia senators announce $840k in mental health, substance use grants

U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced Thursday the awarding of three grants totaling more than $840k for mental health and substance use services.

The grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would support mental health and substance use services in Parkersburg and Huntington, as well as fund a study by West Virginia University on youth tobacco use.

“The addiction and substance abuse crisis has touched everyone in West Virginia,” Capito said. “We have all felt the pain that drugs have left in our state, our communities, and our families. Federal funding like this plays an important role in contributing to the fight to end the drug epidemic, which is why making these funds available has been one of my top priorities as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. This funding will support innovative approaches to curbing substance abuse in our communities and provide the resources professionals back home need to do this important work effectively. Additionally, support will be given to examine teen vaping and smoking, as West Virginia falls into a higher range of adolescent tobacco use. Successfully tackling this crisis will require all hands on deck, and I will continue to stand as a partner for all the brave West Virginians on the front lines of the opioid crisis.”

Westbrook Health Services in Parkersburg will receive $300,000, while Marshall University in Huntington will receive $299,655. West Virginia University will receive $241,318 for its youth tobacco study.

“The opioid epidemic has affected every West Virginian. Everyone has a neighbor, family member, or friend who has dealt with substance use disorder and the effects of this epidemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder for many people to manage their substance use disorder, creating difficult situations for many of our community members,” Manchin said. “While the pandemic has taken over many people’s lives, we must remember the epidemic we’ve been fighting for years is still affecting many West Virginians’ lives as well. I will keep fighting for West Virginia to receive the support we need to help our fellow West Virginians manage their substance use disorder and get the help they need.”