South Carolina public mental health services go way back

South Carolina has provided mental health services to its residents since at least the early part of the 19th century, but its director of today says there is still more to accomplish. John Magill, director of the state Department of Mental Health since 2006, spoke today to the Walhalla Rotary Club. Magill told the Rotarians that over time millions of South Carolinians have been treated in the state’s mental health hospitals and its regional facilities—-such as the one serving Oconee and Anderson counties. Like the clinics serving military veterans, Magill conceded his department’s hospitals have waiting lists—with which he is not satisfied and determined to shorten. And, if you happened to turn to the phone book or surf the internet to try to find an available private psychiatrist serving the upstate and encountered trouble, you’ve hit on what is a shortage affecting the area. But Magill says the psychiatry residency program of the Greenville Medical School is addressing the recruiting of more students to study psychiatry—with the hope that they will decide to remain in the area once they are credentialed.