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Santee-Wateree Mental Health Center

The Santee-Wateree Mental Health Center (SWMHC) exists to support the recovery of people with mental illness in Sumter, Lee, Clarendon and Kershaw counties. Each clinic offers a full and flexible array of outpatient services, including individual, group and family therapy, psychiatric services, emergency services, and case management. Our offices are open Monday-Friday from 8:30am until 5:00pm. If you have an emergency after these hours please call our Mobile Crisis Line (833)364-2274. This line is toll-free and available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Messages from Our Senior Leadership

Executive Director, Mr. Jeff Ham
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You can go home again . . . well almost. Jeffery L. Ham, Executive Director of the Santee Wateree MHC, grew up in Florence. SC. He recalls coming to Shaw Air Force Base to visit family stationed there many years ago, but had no idea that his current job would take him back to this area. "I am a self-proclaimed DMH-lifer," said Ham, when asked how he ended up here. "I bleed DMH blue, because I have a passion for public service and really value the professional service we provide to all of the community." Ham began working as a ‘key man’ or direct care staff at the SC State Hospital on Bull Street more than 28 years ago. "I worked on locked wards at the old hospital, and the patients would call the male staff "keyman" because the entrance to the building and all of the doors separating the individual wards were locked.
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Medical Director, Dr. Marian Dehlinger
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Welcome to our website! We invite you to browse through the provided information to familiarize yourself with the comprehensive mental health outpatient services we offer to our local community. We serve over 3500 clients in four different counties:Sumter, Kershaw, Clarendon and Lee County. We work diligently and tirelessly to help our clients with serious mental illness recover and live happy and successful lives.
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CARF Gold Seal of Accreditation

Santee Wateree Community Mental Health Center is CARF accredited for the following programs:

Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health(Adults)
Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Children and Adolescents)
Outpatient Treament: Individual Placement and Support Program

What You Can Expect From Us

"Your first visit will take approximately two hours. The first hour is for all the necessary paperwork that must be completed prior to receiving services. If you have had previous mental health services, with your consent we will contact these providers to obtain a copy of your previous treatment records. We may ask you to fill out a questionaire concerning the symptoms you are having. We will provide you with a copy of our Client Orientation package and ask you to sign that you recieved it.You will also be asked to sign a Consent to Treatment and an authorization for us to share your personal data for the purpose of billing. The second hour will be spent with a clinician who will conduct the intial assessment. At the end of the assessment, you will be given a follow-up appointment with the counselor and if required, an appointment to see the Psychiatrist will be scheduled.
With your participation, a written plan for your treatment that addresses your needs, strengths, abilities and preferences will be prepared by your therapist, counselor, and physician. Development of your plan will begin at the time of your admission and will be reviewed periodically for progress made toward your treatment goals and/or discharge.
The Santee-Wateree Community Mental Health Center will respect all aspects of your treatment as confidential; however, there may be times when information must be shared between members of your treatment team to provide the most effective treatment options available. In addition, there are some limited circumstances that, by law, may require the sharing of specific information. For more information, please visit the DMH Privacy Practices webpage and/or speak to your case manager about the confidentiality of information discussed during your visits.
The Santee-Wateree Community Mental Health Center is committed to the safety of all patients, visitors, and staff. Staff are trained in specific procedures and techniques to prevent and manage a variety of environmental, medical, and behavioral emergencies. While the Center does not utilize seclusion or restraints with behavioral emergencies, reasonable steps including law enforcement intervention will be prudently utilized to ensure the safety and well-being of all persons in our facilities. Our staff will familiarize you to the building, its exits, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, & fire alarm pull stations. If there is ever an emergency while you are in the building, please notify the nearest staff member.
Our Promise to You
At all Santee Wateree Mental Health facilities, we will provide services to all who need them regardless of your ability to pay. We have a discounted/sliding fee schedule based on family size and income that will be discussed with you at your intake appointment. We also except Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program(CHIP) as payment for services. At Santee Wateree Mental Health facilities you will never be denied service based on your race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

What We Expect From You

If you have insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, etc., bring your insurance card so that we can photocopy it for billing purposes. If you participate in a managed care organization, we will need to obtain preauthorization for your first visit. You should also bring any financial information and a copy of your latest paystub.
Tobacco products. All Santee-Wateree Community Mental Health Center Campuses are tobacco-free. In order to protect your health and the health of others, smoking, vaping or the use of smokeless tobacco is not permitted anywhere on the grounds. Weapons. Firearms and other concealable weapons, explosive devices of any kind and other dangerous objects, materials or substances are forbidden on the property. Drugs or Alcohol. Alcohol or any illicit drugs are forbidden on the premises. This is considered contraband and if discovered will be confiscated and turned over to law enforcement.

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If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis,
help is available.Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org