GREER, S.C. (WSPA) – On the brink of a mental health crisis. That’s what leaders in the field are warning, as one upstate facility is having to expand their services to meet the need, especially for adolescent in-patient care.
Empty benches nestled outside of a not-so vacant building.
Dr. Lance Feldman works at The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health.
He told 7 News, the start of the pandemic was the calm before the storm.
“We were fairly empty for about two weeks, probably about half capacity and since that time, we’ve been full most all of the time,” said Interim Medical Director at The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health, Dr. Lance Feldman.
He along with mental health professionals across the upstate are tracing the toll this pandemic is having on mental health. At this center, we’re told they’re especially noticing that among young people. So much so, they’ve added extra beds for their in-patient units.
That’s not the only concerning trend they’re tracking.
“We’re getting much sicker kids, who are really struggling,” Dr. Feldman said.
Dr. Feldman said he is seeing kids more withdrawn. The cause he believes, a medley of high stress and an inconsistent environment.
“We have a lot more kids now that don’t have schedules, maybe are going virtual or aren’t, struggling in schools. My kids are back in school but it’s with plexiglass, it’s a very different experience than they might have normally had,” said Dr. Feldman.
But he told us, they’re here to help and so are other facilities across the state. Adding, if that need continues to expand they’re ready.
“We meet on a daily basis and discuss it and if there’s a need in the community for additional adolescent beds, we would open additional adolescent beds,” Dr. Feldman told 7 News.
It’s a similar story for the patients seeking help for drug and alcohol abuse at The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health. Dr. Feldman said they have seen a significant jump in those patients as well. Due to that, they are also doubling up on their in-patient addiction treatment options as well.
If you are struggling, there is help out there. You can contact The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health at (864) 235-2335 to set-up a confidential, no-cost assessment. They are open 24 hours. Also, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.
You can find more resources below:
SC-HOPES – This line is for all South Carolinians impacted by COVID-19. Anyone can call this line to be linked to resources for mental health or substance use treatment or other needs.
- SC-HOPES is available 24/7, toll-free, at (844) SC-HOPES (724-6737).
Tu Apoyo – This line is a Spanish-language companion line for SC-HOPES.
- Tu Apoyo is available from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily, toll-free, at (833) TU-APOYO (882-7696).
Online Mental Health Screener – this recently launched tool is a safe, easy, and free service that allows users to anonymously take a Self-Check Questionnaire and connect with a professional counselor who can offer guidance, support, and resources to help connect them with mental health and addiction services.
- The screener is at https://hope.connectsyou.org/.
CRISIS RESOURCES – OPEN TO ALLSC Mobile Crisis (formerly CCRI) – Mobile Crisis is for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Local Mobile Crisis Teams assess the crisis and can respond on-site, with law enforcement, if needed.
- SC Mobile Crisis is available 24/7, toll-free, statewide, at (833) 364-2274.
Crisis Text Line – The Crisis Text Line is for anyone in need of crisis assistance but who is not able or ready to call into a resource line. Earlier this year, SC received its own code for the line.
- The Crisis Text Line can be reached 24/7, nationwide, toll-free, by texting HOPE4SC to 741741.