PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) – Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center, located in Princeton West Virginia, was honored in an out-of-state program for its Quick Response Team (QRT) and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program.

Southern Highlands, a West Virginia Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center, was honored at the State of Ohio’s 2023 QRT and Deflection Summit as the out-of-state award recipient for Outstanding Efforts in the Field of Deflection and Pre-Arrest DIversion. Southern Highlands received the award in recognition of its (QRT) and (LEAD) program, both of which are part of West Virginia’s early intervention program for individuals with substance use disorder (SUD).

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) and the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security provide funding to Southern Highlands through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau for Justice Assistance to expand QRTs and LEAD programs. 

“We are extremely proud of the work happening in West Virginia to assist residents with SUD. Recognition of the dedicated team at Southern Highlands by our neighbors in Ohio demonstrates that investing in QRTs and LEAD programs extends beyond our state and makes a positive national impact.”

Rachel Thaxton, ODCP Interim Co-Director

Southern Highlands provides mental health, substance abuse and community support services in McDowell, Mercer and Wyoming counties. The Southern Highlands QRT and LEAD programs partner with local jail and drug courts to help individuals suffering from substance abuse disorder. They coordinate an individual’s release from the facility by providing re-entry services.