United Way of the Piedmont honors Major Neal Urch as “Champion of the Behavioral Health Taskforce”

Behavioral Health Taskforce chair, Tom Barnet (left) and Neal Urch (right)

Spartanburg, S.C. (January 11, 2017) – United Way of the Piedmont honored Behavioral Health Taskforce founding member, Major Neal Urch, with the first ever Champion of the Behavioral Health Taskforce Award for his years of work on the Taskforce.

Urch has over two decades of experience in law enforcement, starting in 1987 in the Sheriff’s office Uniform Patrol. In 2012, Urch was appointed the jail director of the Spartanburg County Detention Center. That same year, Urch joined a small group of individuals, spearheaded by the United Way of the Piedmont, concerned with behavioral health issues in Spartanburg County. During his career, Urch had seen the prevalence of these issues in the community and in the Detention Center. From this group was born the United Way of the Piedmont’s Behavioral Health Taskforce in May of 2012.

The Behavioral Health Taskforce was established to address the community’s barriers to accessing behavioral health services. The Taskforce’s goal is to reduce unmet needs by engaging community partners in realistic strategies that recognize the importance of early identification of behavioral health issues as well as access to services.

Urch has worked with the Taskforce since its inception, identifying the Spartanburg County Detention Center as having a critical role in the group’s work. Urch helped to form partnerships and implement programs at the Detention Center to provide inmates with access to behavioral health services such as individual and group counseling, a full-time drug and alcohol counselor, and implementation of a screening tool to identify inmates with alcohol or drug abuse concerns. All of these initiatives were accomplished at no additional expense to the Detention Center as a result of the hard work of Urch and the Behavioral Health Taskforce.

Heather Witt, the Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of the Piedmont who works directly with the Behavioral Health Taskforce, says, “Major Urch is more than deserving of this award. He has been a champion of the Taskforce’s mission since the very first meeting. His priority has always been on improving the lives of individuals in our community; it is only through his personal passion that the efforts at the Detention Center have been a success.”

About United Way of the Piedmont
United Way of the Piedmont is a local nonprofit that works to create opportunities for a stronger, healthier community for us all. Our mission is to connect, engage and inspire people to transform our community. Our priority areas are Education, Financial Stability, and Health because we believe these are the building blocks for a good quality of life. We recruit people and organizations from across the community who possess the passion, expertise, and resources to get things done. We believe that every individual should be engaged in their community, and United Way can be the source of that connection. When you GIVE of your financial resources, ADVOCATE for a cause, or VOLUNTEER your time, you become part of the change that creates a better life for all.