IMPH Executive Director Maya Pack interviewed with WACH FOX News on May 24, 2021, regarding IMPH and the South Carolina Behavioral Health Coalition’s (SCBHC) joint Behavioral Health 2021 Progress Report.

Nearly one in five people in South Carolina reported having a mental illness, last year. In addition, crisis hotlines saw a 20% jump in calls for help.

That's according to the latest study by the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH).

"There’s been a lot of social isolation, anxiety about the virus, and thinking about a fallout. And children as young as 10- and 11-years-old are dying by suicide," said Maya Pack, the executive director of IMPH.

Governor Henry McMaster signed the Student Identification Card Suicide Prevention Act (S.0231) into law last week, which would include suicide hotline numbers as well as other crisis lifelines on the back of student ID cards. This would be for 7th to 12th graders in public schools and all public and private colleges.

"I’m hoping that that goes a long way and just promoting conversations about mental health well-being, about suicide prevention, identifying about early warning signs," said Pack.

Read more from WACH Fox here.