Regional behavioral health facilities will be expanded in SD

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SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Human Services are working to increase the number of regional behavioral health facilities statewide.

The state received $15 million in federal stimulus funds to support the expansion, which was approved by lawmakers and included in the department’s overall budget.

Over the next four years, about $3,750,000 will be spent annually on building and expanding facilities across the state, Noem said in a news release.

The goal is to have at least one facility in all five behavioral health regions of the state.

“The addition of regional short-term crisis stabilization services in every region of the state is a very positive step for South Dakota,” said DSS Secretary Laurie Gill. “The Department is committed to working with its partners across the state to support the delivery of crisis services. This will require collaboration with state, county, and city entities, as we all have a role to play in providing quality crisis services.

Authorities say people 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 homes and communities.

“We want all South Dakotans, wherever they live, to have access to comprehensive, short-term stabilization of behavioral health crises close to home 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Gill said. “It will also reduce pressure on law enforcement and first responders in our communities who have long been the people responding to behavioral health crises.”

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