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Mental health, alcohol, drug agencies launch statewide support line

Mental health, alcohol, drug agencies launch statewide support line

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COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH), in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), has today launched a statewide support line for individuals in need of mental health or substance use services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The support line, which can be reached 24/7, statewide, toll-free, at 1 (844) SC-HOPES (724-6737), will connect callers to trained clinicians who can address their specific needs.

This resource is being made possible by an emergency COVID-19 grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Approximately 58 million Americans are living with mental health and/or substance use disorders, and SAMHSA officials believe that the COVID-19 crisis will contribute to growth in these numbers. The support line’s focus is assisting people who are experiencing new or increased symptoms of mental health or substance use disorders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. SC HOPES also aims to reach and assist workers who remain on the front lines of the crisis, like healthcare providers, who are at increased risk of issues like post-traumatic stress.

“COVID-19 has affected us all,” said SCDMH State Director Kenneth M. Rogers, MD. “People who never experienced mental illness or substance use disorders before COVID may find themselves in a confusing and scary place when these issues arise, and folks who live with these conditions every day may see their symptoms increase or worsen. SC HOPES is here to ensure anyone who needs help gets guidance and support.”

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“This new toll-free line is so important, because human connection during this pandemic is essential,” said DAODAS Director Sara Goldsby. “We want everyone in South Carolina to know that this connection to hope and to help is available. And it is crucial that those in need know that financial assistance is available for the services they might require.”

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