SC Department of Mental Health News Release

April 8, 2005

For Immediate Release
Contact:           Elizabeth Freeman
                        Office of Children and Family Services
                        (803) 898-8328


South Carolina Department of Mental Health Receives Grant
for School-based Services

  Columbia, SC -- The South Carolina Department of Mental Health has received a $101,028 grant from the SC Department of Public Safety to develop a mental health treatment and violence prevention project in Lexington County School District 2.  This project, entitled Safe Passages, will focus on Lakeview Alternative Center's day and after-school programs. 

The three year grant will enable Lakeview Center to add resources and services, including traditional mental health services and non-traditional violence prevention services to 75 students and their families.  Classroom instruction, teacher training, consultation, and family empowerment programs will be offered.  

Students attending Lakeview have been placed there as an alternative to expulsion from their day-school or after-school programs.   A majority of the students are involved with the Juvenile Justice system.  Safe Passages aims to improve studentsí attendance and grades and reduce the number of referrals to the Lexington County Solicitorís Office.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) is an integrated system of care offering an array of programs and services to meet the behavioral health needs of adults, children and adolescents and their families. The SCDMH operates seventeen community mental health centers around the state as well as two psychiatric hospitals and two nursing homes.

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