PIERRE – Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month in South Dakota. The goal is raising awareness about mental health challenges and resources that are available to help.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) helps strengthen and support South Dakota children, adults, and families with behavioral health needs through a wide variety of services no matter where you live across our state.
“We know that everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. It’s normal, it’s treatable, and we want folks to know that,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “We also know that with effective treatment, people can recover and live happy healthy lives.”
Thirty-three percent of South Dakotans reported in 2019 feeling that their mental health was not good for at least one day in the previous month. More than 10 percent reported feeling that way for two weeks or more. More than one-third of high school aged youth in 2019 reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row.
Help is available wherever you live in South Dakota. DSS contracts with 11 accredited community mental health centers, helps with providing substance use disorder services, psychiatric hospitalization, and services for offenders incarcerated in state correctional facilities. Mental health and substance use disorder treatment and services are available even if you don’t have insurance or money to pay.
To learn more about resource options, visit the DSS website and click on the Behavioral Health tab. You can also visit 605Strong.com or dial 211 to reach the 211 Helpline Center. 605 Strong program staff are trained to provide stress relief and handle mental health crises. The Helpline Center can also provide referrals to other resources.