South Carolina Department of Mental Health

South Carolina Department of Mental Health
2414 Bull Street/P.O. Box 485, Columbia, SC 29202


October 4, 2012
Contact: DMH Office of Public Affairs
Phone: (803) 898-8581

South Carolina to Observe Mental Illness Awareness Week

Columbia, SC - On October 7 through 13, the South Carolina mental health community will commemorate Mental Illness Awareness Week. As part of this national, yearly observance, selected sites across South Carolina will offer free depression assessments to the public throughout this week and on National Depression Screening Day, October 11.

Many adults will suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in their lifetime, and about 6 percent of adults, or 1 in 17, suffer from a serious mental illness. Many individuals will not seek help, often because of the stigma still associated with having a mental illness. However, treatment is available, treatment works, and with appropriate treatment, recovery from even serious mental illness is possible.”

The first full week of October marks Mental Illness Awareness Week. Established in 1990 by the U.S. Congress, the commemoration seeks to raise awareness about mental illness and its effects on individuals and families. Each year, nearly 50 million Americans will experience a mental disorder. During this week, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, clients and advocates throughout the nation offer public information and education programs on mental illness, and spread the message mental illnesses are as important as other illnesses, treatment is available, and it works.

To learn more about mental illness, South Carolina Mental Health Awareness Week events, how to find treatment, or locate your local mental health center, call the South Carolina Department of Mental Health toll free at (800) 763-1024, or visit If you would like to learn more about National Depression Screening Day, find a local assessment site, or locate a free depression screening site, visit

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, including over 30,000 children and adolescents and provides outpatient services through a network of seventeen community mental health centers and numerous clinics. The Agency also operates four hospitals, one community nursing care center, and three veterans' nursing homes.