Senators Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, and Joe Manchin today announced $476,263 in federal funding from the health care reform law for a mental and behavioral health training program at West Virginia University.
"I've heard from West Virginians around the state about the need for better access to quality mental health care for our children, servicemembers, veterans and their families," Senator Rockefeller said. "West Virginia has a shortage of qualified mental and behavioral health care providers and this grant will fund West Virginia University's training program to help meet this demand and move us closer to mental health being treated like all other health care needs. With prescription drug abuse plaguing our state and with rising PTSD and suicide rates among our veterans, more access to social workers and substance abuse counselors couldn't have come at a better time. I am glad to see another tangible benefit for West Virginians from the health care reform law."
"Our servicemembers, their families and children deserve the very best we can offer them when they struggle," Senator Manchin said. "As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, one of my top priorities is to make sure that topnotch needed care -- both physical and mental -- is available and accessible for our veterans. I'm pleased that this grant will improve mental health services for veterans, their families and children in our rural communities."
The funding for this grant comes from a provision in the Affordable Care Act and is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. West Virginia University's Integrated Mental and Behavioral Health Training Program (IMBTP) will train 25 masters-level social work students in the area of mental and behavioral health primary care services, treatment and prevention services, child and family services, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and school and community services for rural areas with a focus on children as well as military personnel, veterans, and their families.