Mental health calls surge in western South Dakota city

South Dakota News
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A mental health helpline in South Dakota saw a surge in calls last year, and its coordinator says that’s a good thing.

The Rapid City Journal reports that the Helpline Center last year received 460 suicide-related calls from Black Hills residents. That’s a 40% increase from 2017. It received a total 2,334 suicide-related calls for the state in 2018, up from 1,831 in 2017.

Audrey Nordine is the Black Hills program coordinator with Helpline Center. She notes that the increase in calls is a hopeful sign that more people are seeking help. She adds that it shows the stigma of mental health issues is subsiding.

The 211 helpline is available to 70% of the state’s population living in Pennington, Butte, Fall River, Custer, Lawrence and Meade counties.

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