South Carolina Department of Mental Health
2414 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29202
News Release

For Immediate Release

April 27, 2007
Contact:    John Hutto
Office of Public and Legislative Affairs
Phone: (803) 898-8581
Pager:  (803) 929-8668

Governor Proclaims May is Mental Health Month

Columbia, SC – In recognition of the one in five South Carolinians who are living with mental illness, Governor Mark Sanford has declared May as Mental Health Month in our state.

Recent events have spotlighted the importance of good mental health and early intervention for those with mental illnesses.  Evidence shows that mental health treatment works and recovery is real, but we must work together, as a community, to eliminate the biggest barrier to receiving treatment – stigma.

Each May, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH), mental health advocates, and others sponsor activities in commemoration of Mental Health Month.  These events challenge South Carolinians to consider their views toward mental illness, to correct the misconceptions often associated with them, and to respect the brave people who live with these medical disorders.

A month-long exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art entitled The Art of Recovery will be on display from May 3 through May 31. This exhibit features works by people living with mental illnesses who use art as a means of healing and recovery.

In addition, SCDMH’s office of Children, Adolescents and Families will hold its 16th annual conference on May 14 and 15.  Entitled Restoring Hope: Strategies to Mend the Wounds of Violence, this seminar will include 35 workshops of interest to clinicians, parents and child service workers.    

Mental health centers across South Carolina will hold walks, conferences, educational presentations, fun days and health screenings to help raise awareness about mental health issues.  For information about Mental Health Month events in your area, call your local mental health center.

The Department of Mental Health operates seventeen community mental health centers, four psychiatric hospitals, and three nursing care centers, including two for veterans, and last year served more than 100,000 citizens, including 33,000 children.