The Greenville News recently covered the status of the mental health system in the Palmetto State using a report from IMPH:

South Carolina’s mental health care system is slowly making progress but has a long way to go before it can meet the needs of those who suffer with mental illness in this state, a new report concludes.
The analysis from the South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health comes about a year since the group took stock of the state of mental health care in South Carolina and made 20 recommendations for improving it.

It outlines areas of forward momentum as well as those where little progress has been made, said Maya Pack, associate director for research and strategic initiatives with the institute.

“Like with any effort, we know that not everything can happen at once,” she said. “But we’re encouraged by some recent investments of new dollars and a collective feeling of an elevation of the topic of behavioral health and the patients who need those services.

“It boils down to financial and human resources constraints.”

About 43.8 million Americans have a mental illness — 10 million of them a serious condition such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, according to the institute.

And Mental Health America ranks South Carolina 43rd nationally for access to mental health services.

Last year, the institute said what’s needed most to help these residents are 24/7 crisis stabilization services, better care for chronic conditions, accessible outpatient services with expanded hours, more health care providers and psychiatric hospital beds, and support to live in the community.

Recognizing that not all its recommendations could be undertaken at once without a large investment, the institute prioritized three areas related to crisis intervention for people in distress — crisis stabilization units, or CSUs, mobile crisis response services, and expanded hours at community mental health centers, Pack said.

Read the full story by Liv Osby here.