| Sheriff Jay Koon |

A new year brings up many feelings and opportunities to resolve to do certain things that may have missed the mark in 2020. Maybe we set goals to purge our closets, to make more friends or even be more organized. Whatever it might be that you want to accomplish in 2021, we all know self-care should be at the top of that list.

After the rough year many had, and the stresses that come with the virus, the holidays and even change of weather, we all deserve time to take care of ourselves.

The first step is knowing you are not alone; there are many amazing resources in our community.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health (DMH), one of our partners, offers the Community Crisis Response & Intervention (CCRI) program. They often respond to calls for service with us to assist with assessing, on-site or via telehealth, persons who might be experiencing a mental health crisis.

Within DMH, the Lexington County Community Mental Health Center offers outpatient behavioral healthcare tailored to individual needs. Their phone number is: 803-996-1500.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers someone to talk to 24/7.  They offer free and confidential support for people in distress, and prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Their phone number is: 800-273-TALK (8255).

NAMI Mid Carolina, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental illness and their families through support, education and advocacy. They advocate for persons to receive the resources and treatment they might need. Their phone number is 803-206-2916.

The Center for Suicide Awareness has HOPELINE, a text-in service that connects you with a counselor who offers emotional support. Text HOPELINE to 741741 to talk with someone. Their vision is compassion, readily accessible, barrier-free and sustained support for any individual or entity in need while free of any mental health stigma.

Everyone has needed support at some point in their lives. There is no shame and no judgement. Your life matters. Make 2021 the year we all put self-care first.