Governor Noem, DSS developing additional regional mental health crisis facilities across state

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem and the Department of Social Services (DSS) are working to expand the number of regional behavioral health facilities across the state to create a robust and comprehensive crisis service delivery model.

Governor Noem’s budget included $15 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support additional infrastructure development for Appropriate Regional Facilities (ARF). It was approved by the legislature and is included in the overall DSS budget.  Over the next four years, an estimated $3,750,000 in ARPA funds will be spent each year for the construction and expansion of facilities across the state.

DSS will issue a Request for Proposal to expand the ARF model in other areas of the state and potentially address any additional funding needs for existing ARFs. The goal of the Department is to have at least one ARF in all five 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 Cabinet 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.”

Without regional crisis stabilization, individuals in mental health crisis are often placed in jail or involuntarily committed to inpatient psychiatric hospitals when they could be served in a less restrictive setting closer to their home and community.

Through previous appropriations, three projects are currently underway with a total investment of $8.33 million in regions one, three, and four.  Pennington County falls within region one, Yankton County falls within region four and Codington County falls within region three. The contract in Pennington County is $4.6 million to support construction, Lewis & Clark Behavioral Health Services in Yankton County is $232,938 for six months of service delivery, and the Human Service Agency in Watertown (Codington County) is $3.5 million with an additional $1 million being added to support construction and service delivery.

“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.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News