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Pop-up mental health clinic coming, lawmakers told
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ORANGEBURG COUNTY LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION

Pop-up mental health clinic coming, lawmakers told

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Bringing Our Best Care

The Bringing Our Best Care - Bamberg, Orangeburg, Barnwell and Calhoun collaborative is working to develop a pop-up mental health clinic. The group’s core committee met with stakeholders on May 13. They include, from left, Todd Williams, director of Orangeburg County’s risk services division; Dr. Doris Páez, a psychologist with the Regional Medical Center; Jessica Seel of the S.C. Office or Rural Health; and Dee Robinson, deputy director of the Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

The Orangeburg County Legislative Delegation received an update this past week on the newly formed Bringing Our Best Care – Bamberg, Orangeburg, Barnwell and Calhoun, or BOBC2 mental health consortium that is working to increase awareness of the issue within The T&D Region.

The consortium is hoping to develop a pop-up clinic that would provide community-based mental health services for young adults ages 18 to 26, an age group determined to have a particularly difficult time accessing behavioral and mental health care.

The goal is to have the clinic up and running by December.

The mobile clinic would serve adults who may be in crisis, including dealing with mood disorders. Psychiatric care would be among its components.

The goal is to help divert such care from hospitalization and to fill in gaps in psychiatric care.

The program is being led by Regional Medical Center psychologist Dr. Doris Páez and Dr. Dee Robinson, the deputy director of the Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

The consortium aims to bring together local behavioral health providers in order to help provide crisis stabilization. The consortium will look to pool and share resources to help alleviate any funding challenges that may arise.

Currently, the consortium has 93 volunteer members and has been in existence for about six months.

The group has focused on a number of issues related to improving behavioral health services in the community by examining such things as funding, adaptability, health care gaps and program compliance.

The county, local law firms, and other medical professionals have all gone on record in support of the clinic and the consortium.

Both Robinson and Paez asked the delegation for support and their connections to help move the outreach forward and that agencies partner in the sharing of data to help move the outreach forward.

Orangeburg Sen. Brad Hutto, delegation chairman, encouraged the consortium to be engaged with law enforcement as often times mental health issues are linked with criminal issues.

Paez said the consortium is engaged with public safety and has been throughout the process.

Orangeburg Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter expressed concerns that the consortium has not mentioned issues of concern such as domestic violence and sexual assault as components of its outreach.

Pop-up mental health clinic planned

Paez said there are plans to expand outreach to other social issues such as domestic violence.

The consortium can be reached online at scorh.net/bobc2.

Recreational park upgrades

Orangeburg County Community Development Director Richard Hall provided the delegation updates on current projects ongoing in the county, including the Carson Park project in North and the Lake Edisto Park project on Lake Edisto Road.

Hall described both projects, but especially the Lake Edisto project, as a "great recreational opportunity."

The park, which is currently under construction, will include playground equipment, parking, a boardwalk to the Edisto River, a full boat ramp, a dog park, a pavilion, outdoor space and walking trails.

The park will also include a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources office.

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The park will eventually include a community center, restrooms and additional boardwalks.

"We try to roll out these fitness stations that are passive areas for people to go and exercise," Hall said.

Hall also said there are plans to improve the Carson Park boat landing. The park is one of the county's most frequented landings.

Hall said there are planned improvements to the landing that include stabilization, lighting and camera improvements. The park has seen its fair share of vandalism.

The improvements are a part of a master plan to improve access to the Edisto River.

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"We are currently evaluating funding through the different avenues," Hall said.

In other business:

  • The delegation decided to hold off on voting on S.C. Parks and Recreation Department grant applications until each lawmaker does more research on funding availability and better determines how PARD grant distribution allocations will be done. The decision will be made within the next few weeks.
  • The delegation approved the nomination of Dr. Lavern Henderson to fill a vacancy on the Voter Registration Election Commission.
  • The delegation approved the nomination of Samarrow Pelzer for a vacancy on the Department of Social Services Board.
  • The delegation did not vote on the Department of Mental Health vacancy.
  • RMC President and CEO David Southerland introduced himself to the delegation and expressed his desire to work with the lawmakers for the betterment of RMC specifically for financial support. Southerland assumed the helm of the hospital May 3.
  • The next scheduled meeting is Monday, Oct. 11, at 5:30 p.m.
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