FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2020
Contact: Tracy LaPointe l (803) 898-8582 l firstname.lastname@example.org
Agencies Expand Mental Health, Addictions Support Line with Spanish-language Number
Columbia, SC – Expanding the SC-HOPES support line initiative, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services have added a dedicated, toll-free number for Spanish speakers, (833) TU-APOYO (882-7696). The Tu Apoyo, or “Your Support”, line will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday (excluding state holidays). Callers do not need to provide any identifying information to talk with a support line staffer.
The Agencies launched SC-HOPES June 1 to provide support to anyone experiencing new or worsening mental health or addiction concerns due to COVID-19 or the many other current stressors so many of us face. SC-HOPES provides callers with general guidance, information about resources for specific needs, and referrals to providers for counseling and treatment needs.
During these difficult days, many of us feel confused and may not know where to turn. Tu Apoyo staff are trained specialists who are prepared to listen and help people in need to find services and resources to address their individual concerns. Because Tu Apoyo is an informational and non-clinical emotional support resource, it will not collect personal information from callers.
“Times are difficult for everyone right now, and feeling stressed or uncertain is completely normal,” said SCDMH Mental Health Counselor and Tu Apoyo Supervisor Gianella Quiñones, “But there are steps we can take to address these feelings. Our community is incredibly resilient, but we all need support sometimes to remain strong. We created this line to ensure that Latinx families can easily connect with resources that will meet their specific needs and get support without having to worry about language fluency.”
The South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s mission is to support the recovery of people with mental illnesses, giving priority to adults with serious and persistent mental illness and children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances. The Agency serves approximately 100,000 people each year, approximately 30,000 of whom are children and adolescents. As South Carolina’s public mental health system, it provides outpatient mental health services through a network of 16 community mental health centers and associated clinics, serving all 46 counties, and psychiatric hospital services via three State hospitals, including one for substance use treatment. In addition to mental health services, the Agency provides long-term care in one community nursing care center and three State veterans’ nursing homes.
The Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services is the cabinet agency charged with ensuring the provision of quality services to prevent or reduce the negative consequences of substance use and addictions. To accomplish this goal, the department contracts with a broad network of service providers and recovery organizations, highlighted by a system of 32 public agencies that provide prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services in all 46 counties.