Behavioral Health Advocacy

Picture of Bill AlbertBill Albert, Program Director

Picture of Jodie GardillJodie Gardill, Associate Director and Managing Attorney

Through individual advocacy, training, and outreach, the Behavioral Health program provides assistance to West Virginians living with mental and behavioral health disorders. We believe promoting community supports and preserving access to services is key to helping individuals and families meet their challenges with dignity and hope.

Adult Advocacy

Provides support and services to adults with behavioral and mental health disorders who are living in the community, as well as to the residents of Mildred Mitchell-Bateman and William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospitals.

The work of Legal Aid of West Virginia's adult advocates includes:

  • Education and training of hospital staff and other behavioral health professionals.
  • Investigation of complaints and grievances by individuals in the State’s two mental and behavioral health inpatient facilities.
  • Referral and community linkage for challenged individuals and their families.
  • Establishment of community supports for those with mental and behavioral disorders, such as housing and benefits.



Children's Advocacy

The Family Advocacy, Support & Training (FAST) program is a statewide parent and youth network that engages families in the planning, management and evaluation of their child's mental health treatment and service needs. 

Eligible children must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 5 to 18 years of age, or transitioning to adulthood (up to age 22);
  • The child's legal guardian must participate;
  • The child must have a primary mental health (DSM-IV Axis 1) emotional and/or behavioral diagnosis and at least one of the following:

- Child's level of disability requires services from at least two or more systems, one being mental health;

- AND/OR child has received mental health and/or behavioral health services for at least a year, or services are expected to last  for more than a year.