Coal Town Struggles With Mental Health Services

Tanya Nelson, from a small coal town, has to drive thirty-two miles monthly to see the nearest psychiatrist.  She travels the thirty-two miles to also renew her prescriptions for her depression. Nelson says she goes well over an hour depending on traffic but has to plan an entire day just to receive what she needs.  Winter months can be a bit difficult. The weather can make the trips on the back roads of the Southern part of West Virginia.

Tanya Nelson is twenty-nine and receives treatment for several different types of mental health issues. Her mental health struggles include depression, anxiety, and also, bipolar disorder. With her various diseases, she is not able to drive herself but takes a service vehicle that makes her to her much needed mental health appointments. She shared that the service cars must stop for other travels and stops for gas along the way. The service vehicle does not return to her hometown of New Richmond West Virginia until the end of the day.

Coal Town Struggles With Receving Mental Health Services

The young twenty-nine-year-old suffering from several different types of mental disorders says when she is done with her appointment she has to call the service car again. Most times when she calls the service vehicle to come pick her up it can be up to another hour before they actually come.

She says the bus is typically waiting for someone else or picking up other travelers. Receiving treatment for her mental health is very important but taking an entire day can be exhausting. As of right now like most coal towns there are no psychiatrists. In her small coal town of Wyoming county, there are around 21,763 residents. Many of them suffer from mental health issues as well. A lot of the little doctor’s offices do not have services for mental health troubles.