Home Student Support & Well-Being Supporting the Mental Health Needs of Children

Supporting the Mental Health Needs of Children

The evolving mental health needs of children continue to capture the attention of our families, schools and communities. The WVDE is expanding access to resources to help address the social emotional well-being of all children.

A mother and daughter are lying on the floor, smiling and drawing together. The mother is wearing a striped shirt, while the daughter is in a white top. Both have curly hair and appear happy and engaged in their activity. In the bottom right corner, there is a logo that reads "Parent Guidance.org Mental Health Resources." The background features a softly patterned wall.

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is offering resources to families, educators, caregivers and others to support student mental health. ParentGuidance.org, a 24/7 online platform, assists those who care for children to address and elevate mental health wellness and self-care. These tools are designed by the national nonprofit The Cook Center for Human Connection to enhance the human connections vital for school communities to thrive.

Why is this important?

  • In 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national emergency, noting that child and adolescent healthcare professionals are “caring for young people with soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and suicidality that will have lasting impacts on them, their families, and their communities.”
  • More than 700,000 people in the West Virginia live in communities that do not have enough mental health professionals.
  • Educators report increases in behavior challenges and classroom disruptions since the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted in-person instruction and impacted schools, communities and homes over the course of several years.

How is the support delivered?

West Virginia is the first state to offer the Cook Center’s comprehensive supports statewide. ParentGuidance.org works with schools and their communities to empower families to support the mental health needs of children. In West Virginia, there is now free access to an array of tools including:


Regular one-on-one parent coaching with cognitive behavioral health coaches

Parenting Sessions

On-demand parenting sessions taught by licensed therapists

Ask a Therapist

Ask a Therapist,” a frequently updated question-and-answer forum.