We educate, advocate, and support those with mental illness and their families.

Welcome to NAMI South Carolina

Welcome to NAMI SC, the state chapter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals who live with mental illnesses and for their families by promoting the availability of effective services and resources, through education, support and advocacy.

Mental illnesses are brain disorders. One in four people is affected by mental illness. Forty million Americans a year experience some type of mental illness such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety disorders. You are not alone!

NAMI’s educational programs, support groups, and resources are available to you at the national, state, and local levels. We invite you to navigate our website and see what services are most suitable for your needs.

Visit the Local Affiliates page to locate a NAMI affiliate in your area. We hope that you will join us in the fight to eliminate stigma and advocate for the best treatments for those with mental illness. With the right education, support, and treatments, recovery is possible.

Leadership

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Bill Lindsey

Executive Director
Bill Lindsey brings a passion for reforming mental health care in South Carolina. He has forged relationships with the media, the legislature, advocacy groups, state agencies, health organizations, and most importantly, the families, care givers [Read more]
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Corinne Matthews

Office Manager
Corinne started working at NAMI South Carolina in 2003. Her duties include a variety of things including all the bookkeeping for NAMI South Carolina. She prepares the material for all of the state trainings, each of the education courses and CIT courses throughout the state [Read more]
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Michelle Ready

Assistant Director of Education Programs
Michelle graduated from the MUSC School of Nursing. In 2002 she joined NAMI when a family member was diagnosed with a mental illness and was inspired to become a volunteer with NAMI. She became a Family-to-Family teacher, state, and national trainer, [Read more]
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Betsey O’Brien

Director of Education Programs
Betsey O’Brien has been employed by NAMI South Carolina since November 2004. One of Betsey’s primary responsibilities is the promotion of NAMI programs and support groups to the affiliates in South Carolina. [Read more]
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Sharyn Pittman

Program Coordinator- Basics, Family Support Group, Connection, In Our Own Voice, Peer To Peer
Sharyn received her bachelors at Wofford College and her masters in social work at the University of South Carolina before moving down to Florida where she worked in health care administration for seven years. She moved back closer to home when starting a family and has worked over ten years in the Spartanburg non-profit community. She found NAMI in 2017 becoming the Executive Director of NAMI Spartanburg. There, she found her true passion of ending the stigma around mental illness thereby allowing those with mental health challenges or their family members to reach out for the help they need. She hopes to continue with that goal statewide by supporting the affiliates around the state. Sharyn is married to Dave Pittman, a professor at Wofford College. She has two kids, Taylor (18) and Jenna (15).
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Sherri Cloud

CIT Director
Sherri is a retired law enforcement officer after 25 years. She worked at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for 15 years teaching in basic and many advanced classes.[Read more]
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Fred Riddle

CIT Coordinator
Fred Riddle is a retired law enforcement professional with more than 38 years of experience in the military, private and public sectors. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and is also a Vietnam War veteran in the U.S. army. [Read more]
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Marty Wilkes

Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) Regional Coordinator- Upstate
Marty Wilkes is a retired Captain with the Greenville Police Department with 25 years of service. During his career with the Greenville Police Department, Marty worked as a Patrolman, Investigator, Supervisor, and was a member of the Executive Command Staff. Marty has experience as a SWAT Commander and was a Basic Instructor with the department specializing in Special Operations. Marty has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University and a Master’s degree from the University of Louisville in Criminal Justice. He has attended and successfully completed executive police leadership courses such as The Southern Police Institute and the Senior Management Institute for Police. He is also a graduate of Leadership Greenville (Class 44). Marty maintains professional memberships in the Southern Police Institute Alumni Association, Police Executive Research Forum, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the South Carolina Police Chief’s Association. Marty enjoys spending time with his family engaged in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating on the lake. Marty is very excited about beginning work with NAMI as a CIT Coordinator. He can be reached at (864) 324-2176 or marty.wilkes@namisc.org.
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Paige Selking

Director of Ending the Silence
Paige Selking graduated from American Public University in 2013 with a BA in Sociology. In 2016, she became involved in NAMI as the result of her husband and son’s struggle with PTSD, depression and anxiety. She served as the Program Chair on the NAMI Mid-Carolina Board of Directors in 2018-2019 and joined the staff of NAMI South Carolina in July 2019. She is also a NAMI Family to Family teacher and a Provider Education teacher. She is married to a retired Army MSG has two adult children and two granddaughters.
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Deniece Chi

Program Coordinator for Ending the Silence in Sumter, Lee, Kershaw, and Clarendon Counties.
Deniece Chi turned to NAMI-NYC Metro for help in January 2004, two weeks after her daughter Lucy was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A single immigrant mother at the time, Deniece decided to educate herself about her daughter’s conditions, particularly since she was finding that the existence of mental illness was often denied in her Caribbean culture. Inspired by what she had learned, she soon went back to school to obtain her associates degree in Early Childhood Education, while volunteering at NAMI. After demonstrating strong leadership skills and a passion for helping others, in 2009 Deniece became Basics teachers. Her commitment to the program led to her hire in January 2010 as NAMI-NYC Metro’s Family and Basics Coordinator and National Trainer. Deniece served as the Program Director, at NAMI-NYC Metro for eight years where she oversees the Family Support Liaison Center, city wide contract (FSLC). She has taught over 1,000 classes and graduated over 8,500 parents and professionals. She also works closely with the Manhattan VA in training and supporting Families of children and adolescent whose parents have been deployed. Deniece has been instrumental in NAMI-NYC Metro’s use of NAMI Basics to train workers in the child welfare and foster care system. She is a parent advocate in the mental health systems. She was given the very first BASICS LEADERSHIP AWARD in 2011. She is honored to assist family members find the support, respect and services that they deserve. Deniece has now joined the NAMI SC Affiliate as the Program Coordinator for Ending the Silence in Sumter, Lee, Kershaw, and Clarendon County Additionally, she is deeply grateful to NAMI, in particular to Teri Brister, for creating a program that meets the needs of families fighting for their loved ones’ recovery from mental illness.
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Judy Rauppius

Ending the Silence Regional Program Leader- York, Lancaster, Chester
Judy Rauppius graduated from Albright College in 1986 with a BS in Psychology-Business. In her early career, she worked in operations and marketing for Verizon Wireless and other wireless service providers prior to raising her children. In 1998, she and her young family moved to Rock Hill, SC where she resides still today. She became an active advocate for her son, who lives with autism and other co-occurring illnesses. She was attended Parent Support Group and was a parent presenter for the Parents and Teachers as Allies program for many years. In 2015, she began working for her local affiliate, NAMI Piedmont Tri-County, as Marketing and Community Outreach Coordinator as well as being the Program Coordinator for the Ending the Silence Program. In July of 2019, she started working for NAMI SC as the Ending the Silence Regional Program Leader – Northern Region. She is married to Rick Rauppius and has two grown children, a daughter and a son, as well as an energetic dog, Buddy. She enjoys going for long walks, travel and college basketball. She currently coaches Special Olympics basketball and serves on the Winthrop Episcopal Lutheran Campus Ministry Board.

Marcus Stevenson

Ending the Silence Regional Program Leader- Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Jasper, and Williamsburg Counties
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Robin McCants

Ending the Silence Regional Program Leader- Midlands
Loving her role as an advocate for children and families, Robin McCants has spent over 40 years in the role of teaching and administration in early childhood programs and public education. First and foremost, she has loved being on the floor with children and has taught children age birth through high school in two states. Her experience has given her the privilege to work in a variety of settings: private, faith-based, non-profit and public schools. Her leadership skills brought her to the SC Department of Education as the State Director for the Office of Early Childhood Education and currently as the Regional Program Leader for NAMI.
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Amanda Phillips

Ending the Silence Regional Program Coordinator Anderson
With a background in counseling, Amanda Phillips currently serves as the Ending the Silence program coordinator for Anderson County District II and Greenville County. Her experience with mental health advocacy also includes work as a freelance writer, keynote speaker and member of South Carolina’s Behavioral Health Coalition. She most recently consulted on and appeared in a segment about the intersection of mental health and domestic violence for The TODAY Show, and has been a featured speaker at James Madison University, the Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health, and South Carolina’s Zero Suicide Institute training. After experiencing a suicidal crisis as a college sophomore and receiving a mental illness diagnosis as a graduate student, she used resources from NAMI to come to terms with how to live well with a mental health condition. Amanda now devotes her life to making the world of mental health less stigmatized and easier to navigate for those also in the battle. She shares her story in high hopes of spreading the news that there are things we can all do to take better care of our mental health, as well as thrive in recovery from a mental health condition.
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Emily Saxon

Ending the Silence Regional Program Coordinator Western Midlands
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Leola Reaves

Ending the Silence Program Coordinator- Florence School District 1
Leola Reaves-ETS Program Coordinator for Florence School District One. Retired School Counselor. Graduated from South Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Masters Degree in Education. Looking forward to working with students, teachers and parents in the Florence community.
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Emily Pierce

Ending the Silence Program Coordinator York, Lancaster, Chester Counties
Emily Pierce graduated with her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2010. She was an ETS speaker for NAMI Westchester in N.Y. before she began working as the Northern Region Program Coordinator at NAMI South Carolina in August 2019. Emily enjoys advocating for people who have mental health issues on a legislative level. She is currently working towards her masters of mental health counseling at Capella University.
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Maria Beth Smith

Ending the Silence Regional Program Coordinator- Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Jasper, and Williamsburg Counties
Maria Beth Swenson Smith is a former medical assistant and small business owner. She is the mother of adult children and became associated with her local NAMI affiliate (NAMI Charleston Area) shortly after a hospitalization in 2011. She became an “In Our Own Voice” speaker that same year. In 2014 Maria Beth became both a NAMI Connection Recovery Facilitator and a NAMI Basics Co-Instructor. She has been an “Ending the Silence” Presenter since the program launched in 2017. Maria Beth is excited to be part of the NAMI South Carolina “Ending the Silence” team. Her local affiliate’s newsletter quotes her as saying, “Students have approached afterwards and self-disclosed suicidal ideation among other mental health concerns. As a mother of a fifteen-year-old child who committed suicide, preventing like tragedies is of the utmost important. This program saves lives!
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Emily Gunning

Ending the Silence Program Coordinator Midlands
Emily Gunning is a peer as well as a family member when it comes to mental heath. In Mississippi, she started working for NAMI in 2019 where she worked as a Youth Engagement Coordinator under the Department of Mental Health as well as a Community Engagement Specialist. She was certified in peer to peer and she has done many Say It Out Loud presentations. Emily has always been passionate about mental health and her goal in life is to help as many people living with mental illness as she can.

Mental Health News

Find out what's going on in South Carolina and around the country.