Mental Health America of Spartanburg County promotes positive mental health and ways to maintain it, provides education about mental illness to reduce stigma, and encourages early diagnosis and treatment. We are constantly improving our offerings and involvement locally.
- MHA has provided free, bi-monthly educational programs on a variety of mental health topics for the past 7 years. We went “virtual” in July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have continued virtually until 2022. Attendance has actually doubled since going on Zoom!
- In partnership with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) Corporate Education, MHA provides Continuing Education Credits to social workers and counselors attending educational events, which allows them to stay updated in their fields.
- For May as Mental Health Month in 2022, MHA created 2 special offerings. The “Be Kind To Your Mind” inaugural celebration took place on April 23rd to kick off the season. The “It’s OK To Be OK” panel discussion about combat trauma took place on May 19th. Each event helped us reach a different type of audience and raise greater awareness.
- MHA co-sponsors with SRHS Corporate Education a day-long Symposium on Mental Health Issues for professionals and laypeople. The 7th annual event will be hosted in October 2022 at The Piedmont Club.
- Prior to the pandemic “lock-down,” MHA presented a program on bullying to teachers and parents at Upstate Family Resource Center in Boiling Springs and hosted a viewing of our documentary “From Bull Street to Main Street” at Middle Tyger Community Center in Lyman.
- MHA Spartanburg was named “Outstanding Affiliate” by MHA South Carolina in 2019 in recognition of our volunteerism.
- MHA collaborates with other organizations in the County with related missions and goals, including New Day Clubhouse, NAMI of Spartanburg and Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center.
- MHA continues to serve as a voice on the Spartanburg County Behavioral Health Task Force.
Executive Director: Ross Hill
Ross Hill was hired as Executive Director of MHA Spartanburg in August 2022. Ross is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist / Supervisor Candidate and is certified as an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (AADC) and Clinical Supervisor (ACS) by Addiction Professionals of South Carolina (APSC). Ross also works as a clinician and Lead Supervisor at Modern Wellness Family Counseling and has been with that organization since its founding in May 2020. He brings clinical insights and expertise from his 6 years as a counselor to this position, and he is recognized for his commitment to the field of mental health. “Societal attitudes towards mental health have improved tremendously since MHA was founded in 1909, but there are still obstacles to overcome. I look forward to helping MHA Spartanburg with increasing awareness, overcoming stigma and communicating how important mental wellness is.”
Advisory Board Members
|Susan Lea, Chair||LaShanne Goins|
|Cathy McCabe, Vice Chair||Nelda Hope|
|Dr. JJ Lies, Treasurer||Dr. Jennifer Parker|
|Bailie||Dr. Jim Rentz|
|Julie Dillon||Kacie Sims|
|Dr. Maggie Gainey||Divya Srijay|
Mental Health America was founded in 1909 by former psychiatric patient Clifford W. Beers. During his stays in public and private institutions, he witnessed and was subjected to horrible abuse. From these experiences, Beers set into motion a reform movement that took shape as Mental Health America.
MHA is the nation’s leading community-based non-profit dedicated to helping people achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. Our work is guided by the #B4Stage4 Philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process.
Our organization has generated much positive change. We have educated millions about mental illnesses and reduced barriers to treatment and services. As a result of MHA’s efforts, many Americans with mental disorders have sought care and now enjoy fulfilling, productive lives in their communities.
Symbol of Hope
Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness.—Inscription on Mental Health Bell
During the early days of mental health treatment, asylums often restrained people who had mental illnesses with iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped.
In the early 1950s, Mental Health America issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles. On April 13, 1953, at the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland, MHA melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope: the Mental Health Bell. Now the symbol of MHA, the 300-pound bell serves as a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses.