State observes mental health month

Honoring South Carolinians who are living with a mental illness, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) joins the nation in recognition of May as Mental Health Month.

Each year, the SCDMH, mental health advocacy groups, churches, schools and civic organizations challenge South Carolinians to consider their views toward mental illness, to respect those individuals who live with these medical disorders, and to fight the stigma that too often prevents those in need from seeking help.

“Now more than ever, we as a nation are recognizing the importance of good mental health to our families, friends, and neighbors; mental illness affects us all,” said SCDMH State Director John H. Magill. “The driving message is that mental illnesses are treatable disorders, and recovery is possible for those with mental illness.”

May 5-11 marks National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. A coalition of children’s services and civic organizations, led by the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health of SC, marked the observance with a Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day rally, Wednesday, May 8 at 11 a.m. on the North steps of the State Capitol.

To find out about Mental Health Month screenings or events in your area, to find out what you can do to raise awareness during Mental Health Month, or to learn more about the programs and services offered by the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, call (800) 763-1024, or visit www.scdmh.org.

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 to children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances. The agency serves approximately 100,000 citizens with mental illnesses, approximately 30,000 of whom are children and adolescents, and provides outpatient services through a network of seventeen community mental health centers and numerous clinics. It also operates four hospitals, one community nursing care center, and three veterans’ nursing homes.

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