Lack of Behavioral Health Care for Young People Limiting State Progress
West Virginia is one of only a few states with rising levels of young people behind bars, and advocates say part of the issue is a lack of behavioral health care. (WV Virginia Center on Budget and Policy)
CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Lack of behavioral health care for children may be undermining West Virginia's efforts to reduce truancy, cut juvenile incarceration and improve foster care, advocates say.
They pointed to surveys showing that a much higher than average portion of state high school students complained of mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. And when those young people go untreated, they often end up in trouble, either with the schools or the justice system, said Kelli Caseman, co-founder and chair of Mental Health Matters West Virginia.