SC Department of Mental Health News Release

SCDMH Receives FEMA Grant

Contact:  John Hutto, (803) 898-8584

Columbia, S.C., October 13, 1999 .. The South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) has been awarded $95,903 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  This grant will provide crisis counseling for residents of seven counties declared eligible for federal assistance by the Presidential disaster declaration Sept. 21.

The Department of Mental Health will provide family therapy services as well as individual counseling and culturally appropriate supportive counseling to the victims of Hurricane Floyd in Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Williamsburg counties.

SCDMH will be responsible for overall administration and implementation of the crisis counseling program.  Crisis counseling, community education services, assistance and training are to be provided by staff of the Waccamaw Center for Mental Health and the Charleston/Dorchester Community Mental Health Center.

"People who have gone through a disaster such as a flood may experience trouble sleeping, anxiety, irritability, depression, lack of concentration, hopelessness or even suicidal thoughts," said Ed Spencer, DMH Disaster Response Coordinator.  "People who have had to leave their homes due to the storm are especially at risk for stress problems.

"Acknowledging your feelings and your stress is the first step toward disaster recovery," Spencer said.

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.

                                                                                                                                                        

Office of Communications
P.O. Box 485
Columbia, SC 29202
(803) 898-8581

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