Click on the image to visit the map on the CBS News website.

Globally, nationally, and at home in West Virginia, increasing numbers of adolescents seek mental health care. When there are no local providers, kids go without care until there’s a crisis point, and they wind up in emergency rooms. Sometimes, they languish in those ERs for days, even weeks. 

study in the journal Academic Pediatric found during the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric patients sought care for suicidal thoughts or self-injury. It’s a striking reliance on ER doctors and nurses to help their children in mental health crises.

What’s unique to West Virginia in this continuing national crisis is that we’re missing community-reported data and a collaborative approach. Consider the work happening in Massachusetts, Texas, North Carolina, New Jersey, and especially Illinois

Think Kids is working with UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia, Inc. to foster a collaborative dialogue around this critical issue. With collected, aggregated data, we can see clearly, educate, and respond better. 

Over the next few months, we’re working on planning our first stakeholder meeting and taking important next steps.

Read about it on our blog

Dr. Elizabeth Scharman
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