By Debbie Rolen
July 30, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (all D-W.Va.), Monday announced Federal funding has been awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to Prestera Center to expand and increase patient access to mental health treatment and substance abuse recovery support services.
“The hard work of addressing the problems of prescription drugs in our region is underway, and funding like this can go a long way in addressing the treatment needs and demand in our communities,” said Rahall, who is a co-chairman of the Congressional Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus. “I will keep right on working side-by-side with our communities to fight for federal resources that will save lives and ensure needed access to care in our State.”
“Giving our community organizations that specialize in substance abuse support for their work is vital to combating our statewide prescription drug abuse problem. This is a much deserved and needed boost for Prestera Center in Huntington, and for the dedicated staff that’s working so hard to help people in their community who are battling addiction,” said Rockefeller. “This is a heartbreaking epidemic for our state, and I won’t stop looking for ways to help those suffering until we end this problem.”
“Drug addiction hurts more than just the person abusing drugs; it hurts loved ones, hinders job creation and destroys communities,” said Manchin. “To combat our drug abuse epidemic around West Virginia and across America, we must continue funding critical programs like these that will improve mental health services to those who are seriously struggling with addiction. The bottom line is that the toll drug addiction is taking on jobs, families and communities must stop.”
Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, headquartered in Huntington, will receive a $280,000 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service Grant to expand its Technology Assisted Care (TAC) telemedicine capabilities to reach clients throughout its eight-county catchment area, providing improved access to services and coordinated recovery support to improve health outcomes for 2,000 clients over the course of the three year program. Prestera expects a minimum of 900 individuals will utilize its expanded telemedicine capabilities to manage their medications, access their care provider or receive specialty services which are otherwise unavailable to them. Through the Center’s existing certified electronic behavioral healthcare system clients can obtain treatment and specialty care without barriers such as transportation, lack of qualified provider, or stigma which may be inhibiting their access to care.