Charleston leaders, medical experts kickoff largest mental health conference in SC

South Carolina News

CHARLESTON, S.C.- (WCBD)- Mental health leaders are coming to Charleston to kick off the largest mental health conference in South Carolina

Before the event starts Thursday, experts discussed the role of mental health in sports, education, and policing.

Stacey Mathis, the Chief of Staff for Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center, applauded United States Olympic gymnast Simone Biles’ decision to remove herself from certain events to focus on her mental health.

“Sports is a look at the whole person and emotionally you can’t perform at your best if you’re not in a good place. I think she’s set a good example for our kids. They need to know where they stand emotionally so they can perform at their best,” said Mathis.

As a new school year comes closer, experts talked about support for students as the pandemic impacts the classroom.

The age of those who are calling in to crisis centers has dropped recently, as funding for suicide hotlines is scarce.

“It’s a much needed resource for our community so I think having the financial support for that in our state is a critical piece of it,” said Melissa Camp of Mental Health Heroes.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg spoke on Jamal Sutherland’s death and the intersection between law enforcement and mental health.

“In this case clearly there was a failure and so we have a challenge in our community right now to explore the best practices both in providing access to mental health treatment and what that treatment should be in incarceration and the criminal justice system,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.

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