COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — A national health task force is set to recommend routine anxiety screenings for U.S. adults.
Mental health advocates in South Carolina said there is a screening tool right at your fingertips.
In November 2020, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (DMH) along with the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) launched Hope Connects You.
Officials said the self-check questionnaire was started amid the pandemic to give South Carolinians a way to screen themselves for anxiety or depression at such a difficult time.
“There is hope. There is help. There are people out there who are wanting, willing and able to talk to you,” said Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center Executive Director Roger Williams.
It takes about five to 10 minutes to complete the screening and it can be done anonymously.
A program counselor from DMH or DAODAS will review your answers and leave a personal response for you on the secure website.
The response will include guidance, support and information about how to connect with available mental health and addiction services.
Williams said he hopes the recommendation will lead to more people treating mental health like physical health.
He compared this tool to getting your blood pressure or cholesterol checked, “The reason we have screeners is to help those individuals who don’t think they’re sick get help while it’s an easily treatable problem before it becomes a much more severe concern.”
According to data, about 1,000 South Carolinians have completed the screening since it launched. It’s free and available to any South Carolinian over the age of 18.
You can begin the process to take the questionnaire by clicking or tapping here.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts you can call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. You can also call SCDMH’s Mobile Crisis Team at 833-364-2274.