DSS

This is national suicide prevention week in the United States. More than 68,000 South Dakota's are expected to be helped over the next three years in a fight against suicide thanks to a $1.2-million-dollar federal grant recently awarded to the South Dakota Department of Social services. The money is intended to help prevent suicide in the 25 and older age group. Department of Social Services Cabinet Secretary Laura Gill tells KXLG news that the suicide problem does exist in South Dakota....

During the three-year life of the grant, South Dakota will receive $400,000 annually now through August 30th, 2023. The Department of Social services is one of only five applicants in the nation to receive the grant....

Secretary Gill says the grant funds will be used to achieve three main goals. The first is to improve follow-up care for adults, identified as being at risk for suicide after leaving in-patient behavioral units....

The second goal is to increase the number of health care organizations that adopt “zero suicide” practices, which is the fundamental belief that suicide is preventable, with the goal of reaching zero suicides.... 

The third and final goal is to put additional focus on veterans 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 DSS division of behavioral health will lead the project in collaboration with the helpline center, health care providers, and other community partners. 

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