SC Department of Mental Health News Release

News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Hutto, (803) 898-8584 Offers Youth Mental Health Information

DMH Site Geared Toward "matters that matter to teens"

May 1, 2001 - Beginning May 7, young people can find accurate, helpful answers to questions relating to mental health, with the convenience and privacy of the Internet.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health introduces "Teen Matters," a website designed to help young South Carolinians with the serious issues they face. Using video and engaging graphics, the site provides information on topics like suicide, body image, bullying, rape, and drugs and alcohol abuse. is "hosted" by five students from Spring Valley High School, who appear in the opening video. Their invitation to browse the site encourages young people to read about the topics, check out the links to related sites, and most importantly, seek help, if needed.

The Spring Valley students will join SCDMH Director George Gintoli to unveil at a May 7 Department conference in Columbia. The students will perform a skit and log on to the site for the first time.

This summer and fall, SCDMH counselors and staff will be offering the site to state schools, encouraging them to link to the site and use the resources on Teen Matters. Key chain tags with the Teen Matters logo will be distributed to the students. will be unveiled at 11:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, Bush River Road, in Columbia. The media are invited to cover this event.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health has been serving the mental health needs of South Carolinians since 1821. Its 6,000 employees and 9,500 volunteers offer services from 17 community mental health centers and seven inpatient facilities statewide.

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