South Carolina Communities of Care
When someone is struggling, their first avenue of support is often family, friends, neighbors, the local restaurant owner, their hair dresser, even their postal delivery person. All of these people may be the first ones to recognize a change in behavior, so it is important that they have the resources to lend support.
The South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s Office of Suicide Prevention seeks to involve local communities in trauma-informed suicide prevention strategies through the South Carolina Communities of Care Project.
You have been feeling more depressed lately. You have been isolating and struggling with low motivation. Your neighbor begins to notice that you have not cut your grass in a while, and your trashcan has not been taken out in weeks. They realize that they have not seen you leaving for work every morning like they usually do. Through the implementation of the SC Communities of Care Project, this neighbor recognizes these changes in your functioning and they reach out. They ring your door bell, show their genuine concern, and help connect you to mental health resources. This is neighbor to neighbor suicide prevention.
How You Can Become an SC Communities of Care Partner:
- Participate in a training: There will be numerous opportunities to attend one of our many trainings on suicide prevention and Trauma Informed 101. You can also become a trainer yourself and teach others in your community!
- Applying trauma-informed principles: Once you attend a training, take what you learned and use it in your community. If we can bring trauma-informed strategies into our day-to-day lives, we can save lives!
- Supporting your community: Show your support by checking in on your friends and neighbors, sharing resources, spreading the word about the SC Communities of Care Project, volunteering, etc.
- Creating connections: Strike up a conversation with someone you have never talked to before like your local restaurant owner, postal delivery worker, grocery store cashier, etc. Learn the names of the members in your community and form new relationships!
- Advocating for change: There is much work to be done with suicide prevention advocacy. Most recently, South Carolina has passed a bill that will require all middle school, high school, and college IDs to include the Suicide Prevention Lifeline on them. Learn how you can advocate for further change!
Where Do We Begin?
The project focus is on the 10 counties with the highest risk as determined through recent data. Our hope is to expand to include all counties in SC in the coming years.
DMH Mental Health Center Leaders
Our Community Outreach Coordinators will collaborate with the local Mental Health Centers to ensure that all communities know how to connect to mental health services in their area.
- Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center
- Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center
- Berkeley Community Mental Health Center
- Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center
- Greater Greenville Mental Health Center
- Waccamaw Center for Mental Health
- Lexington County Community Mental Health Center
- Columbia Mental Health Center
- Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center
- Catawba Community Mental Health Center
Contact your local Outreach Coordinator
Maranda Beaver, LMSW (Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg)
Sterling Ta’Bon, MSPH (Charleston, Berkeley, Horry)
Fedrick Wilson, MEd, GCDF (Aiken, Lexington, Richland, York)
The SC Communities of Care Project is made possible through the SC Communities of Care grant from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.