As a life-long WV resident, my Mountaineer pride has deep roots. I thought I wanted to “shake” the WV Hillbilly persona and ‘ran from the hills’ to pursue a college education in Florida, suspecting I’d leave and never come back. I soon discovered that you can take the girl from the mountains but you can’t take the mountains from the girl. I thought I’d find a compromise in residing in WV but commuting to work in our neighboring states to the north and east believing to find more competitive and rewarding career opportunities there. Sadly I found that while I valued those opportunities for my own personal and professional growth and development, I had a growing sense of frustration when I looked around at so many of my fellow mountaineers struggling to manage life’s challenges with limited access to quality treatment and support resources. As a mental health professional, I felt a nagging ache to help my fellow mountaineers. I found an unparalleled sense of satisfaction when I began a rewarding career with a leading home, school and community-based provider that began offering human services in WV in 2001.
In fall 2017, after 16 years, the company that had afforded me the opportunity to have the best of both worlds (reside in and have a rewarding career in my beloved home state) made the decision to end operations in WV. Over 30 employees & 300 clients were left facing a looming unacceptable human service gap.
From that void, Mountaineer Mental Health was born in November 2017. After navigating the initial operational and licensure challenges we began providing services within a few short months thanks to the hard work and dedication of 6 employees who shared the vision and were willing to make a lot of sacrifices to see it become a reality. Our initial priority was to provide services for the clients that had been left without. Now, nearly two years later we have doubled in staff size and had the recent honor of partnering with a local women’s recovery home to provide intensive outpatient and peer recovery services.
We are grateful for the opportunities we’ve had and look forward to continuing to expand the vision to meet and support the human service needs of mountaineers.
"Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely daydreaming, but vision with action can change the world."
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