Happening Tonight: First on the South Strand mental health support group

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A first on the South Strand support group for caregivers of those with mental illness will be held Tuesday night at Healthy Concepts in Myrtle Beach.

Healthy Concepts on Holmestown Road in Myrtle Beach works to eradicate bullying and provide leadership opportunities to kids in our area. 

Right now, they are trying to raise money to acquire a space for their leadership camps, and in the meantime have partnered with mental health liaisons to host NAMI family-to-family support groups.

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness and supports family-to-family support groups in 46 states.

The groups are designed for parents, spouses or any caregiver of someone with a mental illness.

“We allow the members of the group to share their experiences,” Susan Duviella, a NAMI mental health liaison, says. “What they’re going through, what they find difficult, what they find works, so in actuality the people in the group are helping each other; we’re just there to support.”

Duviella and fellow mental health liaison Debbie Cody say they wanted to bring this resource to the South Strand because there is a shortage of help for people with mental illnesses in our area.

Currently, there are NAMI family-to-family support groups in Charleston and North Myrtle Beach, but officials with Healthy Concepts say hosting one on the South Strand means it will be more convenient for people in this area, and more people are likely to seek support.

Cody and Duviella tell News13 support in a judgment-free zone is invaluable as no one can understand someone’s situation unless they’ve lived something similar.

Cody explains mental illness like physical illness.

“I have a sore throat, I’m not running to the doctor, I’ll nurse it,” Cody says. “Mental illness can only be nursed so much. It gets out of hand. It’s uncontrollable. Then it’s like taking a back step when you have to get medicine. It takes weeks and weeks to get under control. So it’s very important to be able to offer that support to people.”

The family-to-family support groups are free, open to any caregiver and will be held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of Healthy Concepts, located at 3260 Holmestown Road in Myrtle Beach.

For more about NAMI and access online mental health support, click here.

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