South Carolina faces challenges to reintegrate and treat returning combat veterans and, in fact, address a range of issues facing all veterans living in South Carolina. South Carolina has a rich military tradition and heritage and it is estimated over 410,000 veterans live in our state. The impact of the sustained US combat operations is also being felt by the families and loved ones both prior to and post deployment. It is imperative that a coordinated, comprehensive approach to treatment for these individuals is available
There are many barriers and challenges that affect providing services to returning veterans and their families in South Carolina, which is a mostly rural state and where a significant issue is the provision of adequate mental health and substance abuse treatment. However, one of our state's advantages is that we have a state-run community system of mental health centers and inpatient hospitals. South Carolina also has 33 community based substance abuse agencies that provide a range of outpatient and inpatient treatment options. These resources are vital because many of the troops deployed are National Guard and reservists who require increasing use of community treatment resources as well as VA inpatient facilities. Another challenge is that many veterans may have co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness or PTSD. It will be of paramount importance that there are strong collaborations and integrated treatment by providers in the community to address these challenging conditions. South Carolina has received a federal Co-occurring State Infrastructure Grant (COSIG) to develop these integrated approaches to treatment and we believe that this indicates our state’s commitment to treat clients through collaboration.
State, local, and federal agencies in South Carolina have begun to address the mental health and substance abuse needs of this veteran's population. Community mental health centers and drug and alcohol facilities have seen an increase of veterans and family members seeking services. However, our concern is that there are many who fall through the cracks primarily due to stigma and shame issues, and, therefore, do not access our State's providers. There are many agencies who want to help these individuals and their families.
We are an organization that helps SC Veterans find information and we welcome any kind of support. If you would like to help out, please email us.
SC Veterans Policy Academy
Columbia, SC 29229
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