The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

January 7, 2013

Access to mental health care to be improved through grad training

MORGANTOWN — A West Virginia University professor is using a grant to improve the access to mental health care in West Virginia for children, members of the military and veterans.

Carrie Rishel, Ph.D., an associate professor of social work at WVU, has received a $476,273 mental and behavioral health education and training grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration, to create the Integrated Behavioral Health Training Program. The program will address the lack of qualified mental and behavioral health practitioners in West Virginia.

Rishel and graduate students are targeting two underserved populations: children, and military personnel, veterans and their families. The lack of capacity in statewide child welfare hinders these mental and behavioral health services to children who are in need. Military personnel can experience reintegration issues when returning home from active duty. This group and their families can experience difficulty adjusting to daily living in combination with mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The grant supports the training of 25 graduate students at WVU over the three-year funding period in mental and behavioral health practice, with a focus on integrated and culturally appropriate models of rural service delivery. The School of Social Work will offer the program to master’s candidates at six locations in West Virginia, including Morgantown, Charleston, Beckley, Keyser, Wheeling and Martinsburg.

The grant supports speakers and clinical training in mental and behavioral health for the graduate students. It also provides stipends for graduate students to travel and serve in rural areas of the state that are in the most need.

“In West Virginia, children are often forced to receive care outside the state due the shortage of in-state mental and behavioral health services,” Rishel said.

Rishel focuses on the individual needs of the clients and encourages families, schools, communities and treatment services to work together for best results.

“With everyone working collaboratively toward the same goal instead of independently providing fragmented services, the success of treatment and prevention efforts increases,” Rishel said.  

In order to meet the training program goals, four essential components will be implemented. Students will receive specialized field placement in mental and behavioral health settings in rural areas; customized coursework plans drawing from approved electives; specialized training workshops for trainees and field instructors and mentorship, professional networking, leadership development and employment placement support for candidates in the graduate program.

WVU is one of 24 institutions with graduate social work and psychology programs to receive a mental and behavioral health education and training award.

For more, contact Carrie Rishel, at 304-293-5936 or


Text Only
Local News
  • ee 1.jpg Energy Express makes impact on students’ lives

    Energy Express to him, Matt White says, is all about a “different experience.”

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • maurices Fostering Self-Esteem

    The local Maurices is involved in a project aimed at making the school transition a little easier this fall for foster children in the area.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Health and Safety Fair scheduled for August 1

    Montgomery General Hospital and Dr. Traci Acklin have announced that the 2014 Children’s Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Theater to hold auditions

    Open auditions are set for Tuesday and Thursday at the Historic Fayette Theater for the comedy/drama “Belongings”. Auditions will be held at the theater in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. each evening.

    July 21, 2014

  • asb carver 25 years and counting

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor Made Free concert series

    The next free public concert in the Lively Family Amphitheater Summer Concert Series is a performance Saturday at 6 p.m. by popular band Taylor Made.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Energy Express open house set

    Energy Express, an award-winning summer reading program serving 35+ children in Fayette County, will host a free open house for members of the Beards Fork SALS community. The event takes place on Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • rhody1.jpg Stages of life

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • thurmond depot.jpg Explore town’s rail heritage

    Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns as you join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • apt bldg1.jpg Demolition and disposal

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos