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Combatting stigma of mental health in Orangeburg County

Behavioral health experts in Orangeburg County say stigmas of mental health are affecting people's will to ask for help.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Mental health services are available in Orangeburg County. Behavioral health director Stacey says despite the need, people don't seek out help.

"I think help is there but again we need to break the stigma so that people feel comfortable with coming into receive the services."

Graham says some of the most common mental health issues are related to depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. She cites financial burden as a major contributor to declining mental health in Orangeburg and beyond.

“I encourage anyone that is dealing with a mental health disorder or with any type of emotional distress please do not feel that you have to suffer alone there is help there and if you take the first step then we’ll do everything we can to help you," said Graham.

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Hope Burch recalls needing help after her son died in June. The impact of the grief she felt started affecting her mental health. She says she stopped eating, stayed in bed, and didn't have the motivation to do daily activities. Eventually, she turned to alcohol.

She says she sought treatment from a behavioral health facility in the Lowcountry.

“It’s okay to go through but get help at the same time because if I had have not gotten help, I could’ve not been here. I could’ve not been here to share my testimony," said Burch.

Available resources in Orangeburg include family health centers, Regional Medical Center, and Orangeburg Area Mental Health Center.

Family Health Centers in Orangeburg can be reached at  (803) 531-6900.

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