South Dakota Department of Social Services receives federal grant to help fight adult suicide

South Dakota News

PIERRE, S.D. (KCAU) – A $1.2 million federal grant has been awarded to South Dakota’s Department of Social Services (DSS) to help prevent suicide among adults.

More than 68,000 South Dakotans are expected to be affected by a federal grant that will assist in the fight against suicides in age groups of 25 and older.

The grant will be distributed over three years with the state receiving $400,000 annually from August 31, 2020, through August 30, 2023.

“We are continually working on multiple fronts to save South Dakota lives by preventing suicide. Every life counts. And we are doing everything we can to help provide the resources needed to give people the help they need. This money will help us reach tens of thousands of people,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill.

The grant has three main goals as listed below.

  • Improve follow up care for adults, identified as being at risk for suicide after leaving in-patient behavioral health units
  • Increase the number of health care organizations that adopt “Zero Suicide” practices, which is the fundamental belief that suicide is preventable, with a goal of reaching zero suicides
  • Additional focus on veterans not already receiving Veterans Health Administration Services, by increasingly engaging with and training veterans’ groups, community organizations, and employers to recognize warning signs; and awareness of available resources for veterans and their families.

“The increased training, identification, and care of at-risk adults will save lives. These adults could be parents, grandparents, friends, or neighbors. We cannot put a price on saving lives. This grant money will help prevent not only suicide but the heartache of loved ones left behind,” said Gill.

The DSS Division of Behavioral Health will lead the project in collaboration with the Helpline Center, health care providers, and other community partners.

Visit this website and click on the Behavioral Health tab for more information or go to

If you, a family member, or a friend are feeling overwhelmed with emotions such as sadness, depression, or anxiety, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line “Hello” to 741741.

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