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South Carolina State Facts

Learn more about suicide and prevention efforts in South Carolina, including a list of laws enacted in AFSP's top priority areas. Updated: February 4, 2022.

South Carolina State Fact Sheet
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South Carolina suicide prevention plans and initiatives

South Carolina’s suicide prevention activities are housed within the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) Office of Suicide Prevention (OSP), which began as the South Carolina Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative (SCYSPI), a program funded by a 5-year federal Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Grant (GLS) awarded to SCDMH in 2015, as well as a 2018 Zero Suicide grant. In January of 2019, SCDMH announced it would be creating the Office of Suicide Prevention within its Division of Community Mental Health Services, thus establishing OSP as a permanent state office dedicated to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention efforts statewide. In March 2021, SCDMH announced a new program called South Carolina Communities of Care, in which the OSP will engage members of the community in ways they can learn, use, and maintain suicide prevention techniques using the principles of the Zero Suicide training model.

After being officially relaunched in 2016, the South Carolina State Suicide Prevention Coalition, which includes representation from the legislature, state agencies, and organizations such as AFSP-SC, MHA-SC, and NAMI-SC, released the South Carolina Strategy for Suicide Prevention 2018-2025. Intended to be a living document and preliminary in nature, it continues to be updated with resources, research, and strategies, on an annual basis.

South Carolina laws

Key:

  • No law in place
  • Encouraged by Law
  • Required by Law

Crisis lines and 988 implementation

  • Addresses 988 infrastructure and provides for telecom user fee
  • Addresses 988 infrastructure but does not include telecom user fee
  • 988 law limited to creating an exploratory commission, advisory committee, or task force

Mental health parity

  • Public health plans (e.g., Medicaid) regularly submit parity compliance analyses to state regulators
  • Private health plans (individual and group) regularly submit parity compliance analyses to state regulators

K – 12 school suicide prevention

  • Inclusion of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and/or other crisis line(s) on student ID cards
  • Student allowances for excused mental health absences
  • School personnel must report student suicide risk to a parent and/or guardian
  • Suicide prevention and/or mental health training for certain school personnel, annual
  • Suicide prevention and/or mental health training for certain school personnel, not annual
  • Suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies/programming
  • Student education on suicide prevention
  • Student education on mental health

Health professional training in suicide assessment, treatment and management

  • Mental health professionals receive regular training
  • Mental health professionals receive one time training
  • Medical/surgical professionals receive regular training
  • Medical/surgical professionals receive one time training

Conversion therapy bans

  • Prohibits licensed/board certified mental health providers from engaging in conversion therapy with minors under 18 years of age
  • Prohibits licensed/board certified mental health providers from engaging in conversion therapy with vulnerable adults
  • Prohibits use of state funds for any purpose related to conversion therapy (e.g., conducting, making a referral for, or extending health benefits coverage for)

University and college campus suicide prevention

  • Inclusion of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and/or other crisis line(s) on student ID cards
  • Students receive information on available mental health and/or suicide prevention services and/or resources
  • Adoption of suicide prevention/awareness policy or program

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