Mental Health

Many adults – more than 1 in 4 – deal with a mental problem in any given year.

And our Veterans are affected in even greater numbers. Almost 4 out of 10 Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who enter the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system receive a mental health diagnosis.

Yet there are still many people who don’t seek the support they need.

It is estimated that 6 out of 10 people who have a mental problem do not get treated in a given year. The rate is even lower for many minorities with mental problems. For African Americans and Hispanic Americans, it is about 3 out of 10. For Asian Americans, it is about 2 out of 10.

Some people wait as long as 10 years to get help. Maybe that’s because mental problems often start early. More than 5 out of 10 chronic cases of mental illness start by age 14. Get help as soon as you or someone close to you senses a problem. You can talk with your health provider or a special doctor (psychiatrist) or therapist (psychologist) for advice.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has named MUSC’s Institute of Psychiatry as a NAMI Hospital of the Year. MUSC’s Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences/Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) is one of only 21 Centers of Excellence recognized by the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC).

MUSC’s Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) treats the following problems and others:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Sleep problems
  • Social phobia
  • Substance Abuse Disorders
  • Thoughts of Suicide

In addition, the VA operates the largest mental health program in the nation. Veterans who need help right away can use the Veterans Crisis Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To receive support any time, just call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, or you can chat online, or send a text message to 838255. Family members of veterans can also reach out for help by contacting the Veterans Crisis Line.

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is located at 109 Bee Street, Charleston, SC, and can be reached directly at 843-577-5011. Doctors at MUSC and the Charleston VA often work together to give Veterans quality health care.