This past year SCHA renewed its attention on behavioral health, one of our state’s most pressing health needs. Working with a collection of partners and stakeholders that includes the IMPH, DMH, DAODAS, DHHS and DHEC, together we have established a new Behavioral Health Coalition to give a new direction and spark long-term change across South Carolina.
A core leadership team spent much of 2017 establishing the group’s guiding principles and specific areas of initial focus. They elected to begin with crisis stabilization and management of patients with acute behavioral health conditions, alignment of behavioral health and primary care resources, and substance use disorder prevention and treatment. Recognizing the need for local community involvement for these efforts to be successful, the Coalition also spent much of the year recruiting new stakeholders and will close out 2017 with more than 185 members.
In 2018, the Coalition hopes to continue its work in organizing and aligning the efforts of various behavioral health programs throughout the state as well as present a united voice at the State House for improving access to mental health and substance abuse services.