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State Department Of Social Services Uses Federal Grant To Combat Adult Suicide

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South Dakota Department of Social Services

The South Dakota Department of Social Services is being awarded $1.2 million to help stop the growing rate of adult suicides in the state. 

The DSS is receiving $400,000 annually for the next three years.

The focus is to help patients at risk for suicide after leaving behavioral health units, adopt a “zero suicide” practice for the DSS, and work to help at-risk veterans.  

Laurie Gill is the Secretary of the Department of Social Services. She says the department is focusing on raising awareness of the amount of adult suicides in the state. 

“The main focus is to get people’s awareness and their understanding that there is an issue, and that this is a preventable public health issue, and we can do something about it,” Gill says. 

According to the DSS, South Dakota had the 19th highest suicide rate in the nation in 20-18. 

Gill says those in need of help should call the South Dakota Helpline at 2-1-1, or call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.