May 3, 2021
Contact: SCDMH Office of Public Affairs
SCDMH Commemorates Mental Health Month 2021
Amid pandemic, Agency reiterates the importance of good mental health in good times and bad
Columbia, SC — May is Mental Health Month across the United States. This year, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health seeks to remind South Carolinians of the importance of maintaining good mental health and the mental health services available to all, particularly in light of the uncertainty and difficulty so many have experienced over the past year.
“The past 15 months have been very difficult for everyone, but there may be a silver lining with regard to mental health, in particular,” said SCDMH State Director Kenneth Rogers, MD. “Many people who had never faced symptoms of mental health problems, like anxiety or depression, for instance, have experienced them for the first time. The past year has also made clear to us, as a state and a nation, that good mental health is just as important as good physical health – they go hand in hand – in times of adversity and in times prosperity. This also lessens the stigma too often associated with mental illness and seeking mental health support, which has long been a primary reason many people do not reach out when they need help.”
The Agency remained open throughout the COVID-19 crisis and its community mental health centers continue to accept new patients. In addition, the Agency launched multiple new supports for people experiencing stress and mental health needs, including the SC HOPES and Tu Apoyo support lines, and a new, anonymous, online mental health screener. The Agency also announced the 2021 launch of a Mobile Response Program called Highway to Hope, which will provide services to nine rural counties.
“May is Mental Health Month, but SCDMH is here for South Carolinians year-round,” SC Mental Health Commission Chair Greg Pearce. “Though we are beginning to see an end to the Pandemic, we know that the trauma associated with it and the many other stressors of the past year will remain for some time to come, and we are dedicated to providing support. SCDMH offers a system of outpatient mental health services for adults, children, and families serving all 46 counties, inpatient services for those in need of acute care, and 24/7/365 statewide Community Crisis Response and Intervention for people in psychiatric crisis. If you need help, please reach out; we are here for you.”
Each May, the SCDMH, mental health advocacy groups, churches, schools, and civic organizations strive to raise awareness about the importance of Mental Health, challenge South Carolinians to consider their views toward mental illness, respect those who live with these medical disorders, and fight the stigma that too often prevents people in need from seeking help. SC Governor Henry McMaster has issued a proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Month.
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 services in one community nursing care center and three State veterans’ nursing homes.
SCDMH MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
SC-HOPES – This support line is for all South Carolinians impacted by COVID-19 or any other associated stressors. Anyone can call this line to be linked to resources for mental health or substance use treatment or other needs. SC-HOPES is available 24/7, toll-free, at (844) SC-HOPES(724-6737).
Tu Apoyo – This line is a Spanish-language companion line for SC-HOPES. Tu Apoyo is available from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily, toll-free, at (833) TU-APOYO (882-7696).
Online Mental Health Screener – This recently launched tool is a safe, easy, and free service that allows users to anonymously take a Self-Check Questionnaire and connect with a professional counselor who can offer guidance, support, and resources to help connect them with mental health and addiction services. The screener is at https://hope.connectsyou.org/.
South Carolina Department of Mental Health – South Carolina’s public mental health system, serving children, adolescents, adults, and families through a network of 16 community-based mental health centers, with associated clinics. Accepting new patients and serving all counties statewide. Secure telephone and video appointments are available in addition to in-person visits – please inquire to learn more. To find the location nearest you to learn more, visit scdmh.net or call (803) 898-8581.
SCDMH CRISIS RESOURCES
SC Mobile Crisis – Mobile Crisis is for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Local Mobile Crisis Teams assess the crisis and can respond on-site, with law enforcement, if appropriate. SC Mobile Crisis is available 24/7/365, toll-free, statewide, at (833) 364-2274.
SCDMH Deaf Services Hotline – This line is dedicated to folks who are deaf or hard of hearing and in crisis or in need of resources. It is also available to contact for hospital consultation, telepsychiatry interpreter requests, and mental health center referrals. The Deaf Services Hotline is available 24/7, statewide, at (803) 339-3339 (VP) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NON-SCDMH CRISIS RESOURCES
Crisis Text Line – The Crisis Text Line is a nationwide resource for anyone in need of crisis assistance but who is not able or ready to call into a resource line. South Carolina has its own code for the line. South Carolinians can reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7, toll-free, by texting HOPE4SC to 741741.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline – This line is for anyone in need of crisis help. The Lifeline is available 24/7, toll-free, nationwide, at (800) 273-TALK (8255).