Columbia, South Carolina – March 12, 2014

Columbia, South Carolina – March 12, 2014

The AFSP-South Carolina Chapter partnered with NAMI SC and Mental Health America of SC for a successful event on the steps of the State Capitol.  Despite inclement weather, over 100 consumers and families attended an hour-long event.  Numerous SC legislators and state agency leaders spoke on the importance of supporting mental health initiatives.  Legislators on both sides of the aisle are supporting a much-needed $186 million appropriation for the SC Department of Mental Health for FY15, which has seen a 40% decrease in funding since 2008.  Tony Keck, Director of the SC Department of Health and Human Services, told the crowd that because of the work of mental health supporters and their leaders, “We’ve started to change the way we spend (Medicaid) dollars.  We’re working right now to put more money into support of housing, into support of employment, all those things we’ve been told for years are needed.”  Attention was also focused on mental health among prisoners with mental illness.  AFSP-SC Chapter Public Policy Chair, Tom Robinson, reported on the Chapter’s advocacy work.  This unified front in the Palmetto State represents progress toward a more comprehensive approach to mental health care and funding from the SC General Assembly.