FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2010
Contact: DMH Office of Public Affairs
Phone: (803) 898-8585
Orangeburg Schools Awarded $200,000 for Mental Health Services
Columbia, SC – Lake Marion High School, in Orangeburg school district three, and Bethune-Bowman High School, in Orangeburg school district five, have each placed a full-time mental health counselor on site as part of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s (SCDMH) Rural Mental Health Initiative. Each school received a grant of $100,000 to place the counselors.
Made possible by a grant from the BlueCross/Blue Shield of South Carolina Foundation, the Rural Health Initiative aims to expand the SCDMH’s school-based services into ten rural counties in South Carolina. The grants are a continuation of this statewide program, begun in 2007, to support mental health services in public schools in districts across South Carolina. The Foundation has awarded the SCDMH a total of $1,399,333 for this initiative, which currently comprises seven community mental health centers, 12 schools, and 12 school districts, with 290 children and their families receiving services.
DMH State Director John H. Magill said, “Because of the Initiative, students and their families in rural parts of our state are able to benefit from a range of services, including early intervention, classroom education groups, parent groups and workshops, and case management services.”
“Mental health services are underfunded in our schools,” said Harvey Galloway, executive director of BlueCross/BlueShield of SC Foundation. “We hope our grant helps raise awareness of the impact that untreated mental health disorders have on children’s development and well-being.”
The South Carolina Department of Mental Health serves approximately 102,000 citizens with mental illnesses, including 33,000 children and adolescents. The Department provides outpatient services through a network of seventeen community mental health centers and numerous clinics. It also operates four psychiatric hospitals, one community nursing care center, and three veterans’ nursing homes.