Human resources

Resources available in South Dakota to raise mental health awareness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in South Dakota. Now is the time to educate people living with mental health issues, reduce stigma and promote the resources available to help them.

“Mental health affects us all, whether we are doing well, facing difficulties or somewhere in between,” said Department of Social Services Secretary Laurie Gill. “Our mental health impacts our physical, emotional and social well-being, regardless of our age.”

Life’s challenges can impact our mental health, but help is available. Twenty-nine percent of adults in South Dakota reported symptoms of anxiety or depression at the start of 2021, and 112,000 adults suffered from a mental health condition. South Dakotans who received publicly funded mental health services reported increases in their social connections, mental health, and well-being.

“It’s important to know that with effective treatment, individuals can recover and live happy, healthy, and productive lives,” Gill said. “Help is available no matter where you live in South Dakota or what your financial situation is.”

The DSS contracts with 11 Community Mental Health Centers across the state to provide mental health services to adult children with mental health issues. If locality is a barrier, services can be provided via telehealth. Mental health services are also available to offenders incarcerated in state correctional facilities. Individuals requiring inpatient psychiatric treatment can receive services at the Human Services Center in Yankton, the only state-approved specialty hospital.

If the cost of community mental health services is a concern, financial assistance is available. The Behavioral Health Voucher Program provides funding assistance for behavioral health services for farmers and ranchers, those affected by the 2019 natural disasters and/or the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about resource options, visit dss.sd.gov and click on the Behavioral Health tab. You can also visit www.605strong.com or dial 211 to reach the 211 helpline. Program staff are trained in stress relief and mental health crisis management. The Help Center may also provide referrals to other resources.

For anyone struggling with a mental health issue, crisis counseling is available 24/7 by calling 1.800.273.8255 (TALK) or texting CONNECT at 741741. All calls are completely confidential.