Local mental health departments in South Carolina react to multi-million-dollar grant

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AIKEN, SC. (WJBF) — Ten rural counties in South Carolina will have stronger programs due to funds given to the state to help folks in these areas get all the mental health support they need.

The funds were given by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and will be spread out over four years. 

“This grant is gonna allow us to hire one full-time and two part-time peer specialists. Peer Specialists are vital in dealing with patients, is because it puts someone alongside them that’s been there, done that and they’re coming from a unique perspective in that they’ve possibly dealt with this before or dealt with similar situations,” Chief Supervisor Shannon Britt said.

The Mobile Crisis program serves higher-need areas, all you have to do is call when experiencing a crisis situation.

“I really think they can benefit from knowing about Beckman and who we are and who we serve. We serve seriously mentally ill adults and children adolescents and their families with serious emotional disturbance,” Executive Director at Beckman Center for Mental Health Melanie Gambrell said. 

If necessary, providers can come to you.

“It’s wherever they’re most comfortable or they might be most familiar. So, we’re going to them, putting them– you know, meeting them at their level wherever that may be,” Britt said.

Department supervisors say they’re already looking ahead.

“Our hope for the future is to be able to divide the counties into two different areas and have two teams on call at all times,” Gambrell said. 

If you or anyone you know is in need of help, healthcare officials encourage you to step into your local mental health department during regular business hours or call the Mobile Crisis number at 833-364-2274. You can also visit for more information.



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