As Mental Illness Awareness Week kicks off, the Department of Social Services (DSS) wants South Dakotans to know there is help available for those dealing with mental health challenges.
“Mental health is vital to our overall health and well-being,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary, Laurie Gill. “Mental illness is treatable, and South Dakota has resources and support available for those who need it.”
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness each year. Diagnosing mental illness can be difficult, but there are signs to watch for:
- Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks
- Trying to harm or end one’s life or making plans to do so
- Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Seeing, hearing or believing things that aren’t real
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
- Drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality, or sleeping habits
- Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still
- Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to a health care professional, mental health provider, or crisis helpline. Crisis counseling services in South Dakota are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Services are available to anyone and all calls are completely confidential by dialing 1-800-273-8255 or text CONNECT to 741741. Additional resources are also available by visiting 605Strong.com or calling 211.
DSS contracts with 11 accredited community mental health centers across the state to provide services to both adults and youth. Services provided include screenings and assessments, specialized outpatient services, individual therapy, group therapy, and crisis intervention. Funding assistance may be available. To find a service provider in your area, please visit dss.sd.gov/behavioralhealth/agencycounty.
Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week in 1990.