• Emma Parkhouse

WPDE: New mental health crisis response team headed to Horry Co. thanks to local law enforcement


Excerpt: "We have to be responsive to our first responders because they're put into situations that are life and death situations where they have to make snap judgments relying on their training, relying on their gut instinct, relying on what the situation is and that kind of thing," said Vaught. "If we don't give that counseling to let them know that they're doing the right kind of job, that they're doing a thankless job and offer them the counseling and help they need, then we're not doing what we should be doing for our first responders."

He said he's seen other successful mental health units and is supportive of Horry County taking the initiative to bring one here.

Having resources and access to mental health aid is something he said everyone should be able to benefit from, and nothing be ashamed of.

"One of the worst things that you've always heard about is somebody says, 'well I'm in therapy,' and people look down on them, for some reason rather than, okay I'm in therapy because I needed help. A lot of people look down on them and that's something that we have to get away from," he said.

Councilman Vaught said while there are several options for first responders already in place where they can reach out for support, adding a mental health practitioner would give firefighters, EMTs and police officers the ability to seek the help they need, openly or privately, with a locally based professional.

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