Residents propose West River mental health facility

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

The Rapid City Common Council continues to discuss the needs of mental health patients.

The Rapid City area has seen 28 suicides this year - many of which were related to mental health.

In February, Regional Health decided to stop admitting patients in need of long-term care due to a lack of resources. DETAILS

But the question remains - where should those patients go?

The only state-run mental health facility is in Yankton. A group of local residents have asked council members to draft a measure supporting a new facility in western South Dakota.

Rapid City lawyer Allen Scovel says a closer facility is a dire need.

"The treatment in this state for mentally ill people is broken," he said. "It's been thrown under the bus for decades. Year after year after year, after session of the legislature, and after new governors, nothing has really been done."

The need for better mental health treatment in South Dakota has been the focus of the Behavioral Health Alliance. The Alliance is working to determine how community partners can work together on a solution.

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