SC Department of Mental Health News Release

June 18, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Hutto, Director of Communications
      (w) 803-898-8584
      (p) 803-929-8668

JHH35@CO.DMH.STATE.SC.US

Department of Mental Health Awarded Disaster Response Grant

Columbia, SC:  The Department of Mental Health (DMH) has been awarded a two-year, $100,000 Disaster Response Grant from the Center for Mental Health Services, Washington, D.C. This federal grant is a partnership with the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), which brings together both mental health and substance abuse response services.

This training grant is designed to increase crisis counseling skills in disaster response, critical incident stress management and incident command systems. Additionally, the grant contains an equipment fund to establish a DMH local emergency operations center in the Administration Building, 2414 Bull Street, Columbia. This emergency operations center will be a combined effort between the two agencies, as will any crisis counseling teams sent into the community.

This grant will help DMH and DAODAS prepare for and develop effective mental health and substance abuse response systems before emergencies occur. Incident response plans and response infrastructure developed under these grants will focus on coordinated mental health and substance abuse emergency planning and capacity development activities.  The grant will also support comprehensive planning activities based on an all-hazards planning approach. This includes an assessment of potential emergency needs and the development of comprehensive plans that include administrative leadership, continuity of operations, communications, public information and resource management to address specific needs of various agencies.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health provides services through a network of 17 community mental health centers, five hospitals, and two nursing care centers.

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