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

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2006
Contact: John Hutto
               Public & Legislative Affairs


Governor Proclaims May as Mental Health Month

Columbia, SC – Today, Governor Mark Sanford proclaimed May as Mental Health Month in South Carolina. All across the nation, similar recognitions are taking place.

Throughout May, advocates for people with mental illnesses, mentally ill citizens and their families, and mental health professionals strive to raise public awareness of the facts about and to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.

Highlighting this month’s activities in South Carolina is the opening of the Art of Recovery gallery at the Columbia Museum of Art. Running from May 4, 2006, until May 31, 2006, the collection features the artwork of people with mental illnesses.

Further, on May 3, 2006, in a ceremony before the South Carolina General Assembly, the Art of Recovery will receive the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts in the government category. These awards are considered the most prestigious in South Carolina’s art community.

In 2005, the Department of Mental Health served about 100,000 citizens including 33,000 children and adolescents with mental illnesses. The Department provides outpatient services through a network of seventeen community mental health centers and numerous clinics. It also operates Harris Psychiatric Hospital in Anderson, SC, the Columbia Behavioral Health System in Columbia, SC, as well as three nursing centers, including two for veterans.