Many people who live in rural areas — like much of southwest Virginia — may face elevated mental health challenges created by the COVID pandemic. One effort to address those challenges, and substance abuse disorders that can result, is set for next month. It’s a mental health first aid training course: two days on line and free, and co-sponsored by Recover Virginia, where officials say even before COVID arrived, rural residents were already hit hard by mental health issues and related substance abuse. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

The on-line program is set for January 7th and 8th. Click here for more information.