South Carolina Department of Mental Health

SCDMH Mission

To support the recovery of people with mental illnesses.


The S.C. Department of Mental Health gives priority to adults, children, and their families affected by serious mental illnesses and significant emotional disorders. We are committed to eliminating stigma and promoting the philosophy of recovery, to achieving our goals in collaboration with all stakeholders, and to assuring the highest quality of culturally competent services possible.


Respect for the Individual
Each person who receives our services will be treated with respect and dignity, and will be a partner in achieving recovery. We commit ourselves to services that: 

  • honor the rights, wishes and needs of each individual;
  • promote each individual's quality of life;
  • focus on each individual's strengths in the context of his or her own culture;
  • foster independence and recovery;
  • demonstrate the value of family inclusion and the benefits of strong family support.

Support for Local Care
We believe that people are best served in or near their own homes or the community of their choice. We commit to the availability of a full and flexible array of coordinated services in every community across the state, and to services that are provided in a healthy environment. We believe in services that build upon critical local supports: family, friends, faith communities, healthcare providers, and other community services that offer employment, learning, leisure pursuits, and other human or clinical supports.

Commitment to Quality
We will be an agency worthy of the highest level of public trust. We will provide treatment environments that are safe and therapeutic, and work environments which inspire and promote innovation and creativity. We will hire, train, support and retain staff who are culturally and linguistically competent, who are committed to the recovery philosophy, and who value continuous learning and research. We will provide services efficiently and effectively, and will strive always to provide interventions that are scientifically proven to support recovery.

Dedication to improved public awareness and knowledge
We believe that people with mental illnesses, trauma victims, and others who experience severe emotional distress, are often the object of misunderstanding and stigmatizing attitudes. Therefore we will build formal partnerships with the state's educational leadership and institutions, including both K-12 and institutions of higher learning, to enhance curriculum content on mental health. We will work with employers, sister agencies, and public media to combat prejudice born of ignorance about mental illnesses. And we will expect our own staff to be leaders in the anti-stigma campaign.

Adopted by the S.C. Mental Health Commission
March 5, 2002