West Virginia State to Release Behavioral Health Study Results at Community Forum

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
Sept. 8, 2014
West Virginia State to Release Behavioral Health Study Results at Community Forum
INSTITUTE, W.Va.—West Virginia State University (WVSU) will host a community forum at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, at the James C. Wilson University Union to share and discuss study results regarding the impact behavioral health issues are having on businesses and organizations in the Charleston area.

In April, WVSU’s Department of Social Work and Criminal Justice began surveying 120 Charleston area workers and leaders in health care, criminal justice, education and social service industries regarding behavioral health issues including mental illness, substance abuse disorders and illegal drug use. 
“The survey research conducted by the University’s Departments of Social Work and Criminal Justice provides a clear look at the current community situation and trends related to behavioral health issues in Charleston and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Brenda Wamsley, Chair of the WVSU Department of Social Work. “By sharing our findings with the survey participants and community members at-large, we can transform our research efforts from fact finding to potential solutions to address and reduce behavioral health incidents. We look forward to sharing the results, listening and engaging community leaders in an action planning process so we can continue to improve our communities by boldly addressing the challenges we face together.”
This study is part of a national assessment project to promote behavior health planning and evaluation and reduce incidences of an area’s most prevalent behavioral health issues. Survey research is the first phase of the four-phase project and is funded by an $86,386 grant from the Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation (CAPE) program.  The goal of the CAPE program is to assist communities in identifying the behavioral health issues most pressing at the local level and develop systems to effectively reduce incidences.
The local survey was conducted in collaboration with Michigan State University and is one of 10 such projects in the country.  Individuals interested in participating in the community forum should contact Dr. Brenda Wamsley at (304) 766-5240 or wamsleyb@wvstateu.edu.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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