Read About Sierra Cunningham

Contact the Office of Patient Affairs

Sierra Cunningham, M.A.
Patient Affairs Coordinator
SC Department of Mental Health
Division of Medical Affairs
Office of Transition Programs, Suite 201
2414 Bull Street, Columbia SC 29201
Office: (803) 898-4195
Cell: (803) 862-2313

Upcoming Events/Training

  • March 11, 2020: Mental Health Advocacy Day at the State House, 10:00 a.m.
  • March 11, 2020: Statewide Patient Advisory Board Meeting, 1:00p.m.-2:00pm Central Office Room 306
  • March 13, 2020: SC SHARE Open House for new location, 1924 Barnwell St, Columbia, SC 29201 RSVP at
  • March 17, 2020-March 18, 2020: SC Share ASSIST Training, Sign up at
  • NAMI National Convention, July 15-18, 2020 in Atlanta GA. Register at

March is National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month, celebrated each year during March, focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

There is research to suggest that what we eat may not affect just our physical health, but also our mental health and wellbeing. When food interacts with the chemicals in our brains it keeps us going throughout the day. And when we eat a variety of foods, there is a variety of effects on our brains. For example, carbohydrates increase serotonin, a chemical that has a calming effect. Protein-rich foods affect our brain by increasing alertness. Certain healthy fats that contain omega-3 and omega-6 are linked to reducing rates of depression. Since our bodies cannot produce some of these, it is important that they are included in our diets.

  • Common brain-friendly foods include:
  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Fish
  • Turmeric
  • Broccoli
  • Dark chocolate
  • Eggs
  • Almonds


Advocacy /Trending News

NAMI is searching for “Ending the Silence” presenters.

NAMI Releases First Free Online Class For Parents Of Children With Mental Illness

SCCADVASA is the statewide coalition of organizations providing intervention services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and Primary Prevention programs to students and communities across the state

Marilyn Cramer right, Patti Teter, left

Community Spotlight

Marilyn Cramer is a contributing artist to the SCDMH Art of Recovery program. Marilyn is a kind spirit and a creative soul.  This year, 48 pieces of patient art were sold at the annual Shrimp Festival in Beaufort, SC. The artist's receive 100% of the proceeds. This validation builds self-esteem, self-worth, and promotes advocacy. Coastal Empire Community Mental Health Center (CECMHC) patients work very hard all year to submit works for the Art of Recovery’s exhibit at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, the Taste of Beaufort, and the Beaufort Water Festival. Patients are able to express their recovery stories in the form of art. Marilyn is now sharing her skills with others weekly, by hosting an Art of Recovery class on Wednesdays at Canal Community Center.

Pictured left to right: Artist Marilyn Cramer and CECMHC Patient Affairs Coordinator Patti Teter selling art at the annual Shrimp Festival in Beaufort, SC.

Community News: A Night to Shine

Costal Empire Mental Health Center participated in a “Night to Shine” on February 10, 2020. More than 170 local people with special needs ages 14 and over received the royal treatment! The red carpet was rolled out, paparazzi were on site, and fresh flowers and limo rides made it a night to remember.   Everyone enjoyed dancing and food. Beautiful jackets and dresses were donated to patients of Costal Empire Mental Health Center for this very special night. Costal Empire Patient Affairs Coordinator Patti Teter was instrumental in the success of this event.


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