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Regional behavioral health facilities to be expanded in SD

April 11, 2022 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Social Services are working to expand the number of regional behavioral health facilities across the state.

The state received $15 million in federal stimulus funding to support the expansion, which was approved by legislators and included in the department’s overall budget.

Over the next four years, an estimated $3,750,000 will be spent annually for the construction and expansion of facilities across the state, Noem said in a news release.

The goal is to have at least one facility in all five of the state’s behavioral health regions.

“Adding short-term regional crisis stabilization services in each region of the state is a very positive step for South Dakota,” said DSS Secretary, Laurie Gill. “The Department is committed to working with its partners across the state to support crisis service delivery. This will require collaboration with state, county, and city entities as we all have a role to play in providing quality crisis services.”

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According to authorities, people in mental health crisis are often placed in jail or are involuntarily committed to inpatient psychiatric hospitals when they could be served in a less restrictive setting closer to their home and community.

“We want all South Dakotans, regardless of where they live, to have access to short-term comprehensive behavioral health crisis stabilization close to home 24 hours per day, seven days a week,” Gill said. “This will also take pressure off law enforcement and first responders in our communities who have for a long time been the people responding to behavioral health crises.”