SC Department of Mental Health News Release

 

SCDMH Receives National Award

 

Contact: Ed Spencer (803) 898-8579

Columbia, S.C., April 19, 1999... The South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) in conjunction with the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, the State Budget and Control Board and the Public Service Commission received the Education and Academia Award for Teleconference Innovation.  The award was presented by Innovation Network: Computerworld Smithsonian Awards.

These agencies collaborated to develop two-way video conferencing that enables deaf students to communicate with their parents, caregivers, teachers and friends in their preferred language, American Sign Language.  They partnered with BellSouth and PictureTell to initiate this pilot project that may have far-reaching impact on children with special needs and their families and enhance their quality of life.

"SCDMH has pioneered the use of this modern technology to deliver quality behavioral health services and consumer consultation, thus overcoming the issues of urban/rural service availability," said Ed Spencer, SCDMH telepsychiatry coordinator.   "This collaboration is an excellent demonstration of state agencies working together with the private sector in an efficient manner."

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health has served the mental health needs of South Carolina citizens since 1821.  Its 6,000 employees and 8,000 volunteers offer services from 17 community mental health centers and six inpatient hospitals statewide.

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