We envision a society where all people with mental health conditions live free from discrimination and are able to live, learn, work and play independently in an integrated community.
What We Do
We can assist individuals with mental health conditions who have been discriminated against or denied services through advocacy, legal representation and self-advocacy training. Staff also work to improve laws, regulations, policies and practices that affect people with mental health conditions through litigation and advocacy.
SC Department of Mental Health Case: In May 2017, DRSC, then P&A and six individuals sued the SC Department of Mental Health (DMH) to increase access to community mental health services. The complaint alleged that DMH was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide adequate community services. This meant individuals unnecessarily remain isolated and hospitalized at the state’s G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital in Columbia. In a 1999 case, the US Supreme Court declared that unjustified isolation was discrimination based on disability, Olmstead v. L.C. 527 U.S. 581, 597 (1999). In February 2019, an agreement was reached which called for, among other enhancements, expansion of DMH crisis services aimed at preventing involuntary hospitalization; annual increases in DMH community supported housing; and the creation of new DMH programs to streamline hospital discharge, improve hospitalized patients’ preparation for discharge, and reduce hospital lengths of stay by ensuring patients have access to appropriate community resources.
Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Advisory Council
The PAIMI Council was established to provide advice and recommendations to the DRSC staff and board, work with the Board to develop policies and priorities, and is in charge of submitting a section of our annual report to the federal government.