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Mental health licensure bill reaches governor's desk

Capitol Lake in Pierre
Todd Thompson
Capitol Lake in Pierre

A bill to make it easier to continue therapist/patient relationships across state lines has advanced through both chambers of the state Legislature.

House Bill 1012 adds South Dakota to the nationwide Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact.

Advocates say the bill will allow more for meaningful mental health treatment in the state. It’s a thought backed up by Sanford Health data which counts 94 percent of the state’s counties as mental health shortage areas.

Forty states have adopted the compact, known as PSYPACT, which allows licensed practitioners to continue working relationships with clients via telehealth over state lines.

South Dakota is joined by New York State and Massachusetts in considering adoption this year. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture