Dr. Matthew Stanley

Jackie Hendry

On Sunday, the new Avera Addiction Care Center in Sioux Falls is hosting a community open house. The voluntary 28-day treatment center offers a variety of treatments for alcohol and drug addiction.

But the new center also highlights the importance of community in the healing process.

Avera used to refer up to 25 patients a month to residential addiction recovery facilities—some of them hundreds of miles away. Assistant Vice President for Avera Behavioral Health Services Thomas Otten says that’s one of the reasons this new addiction care center is here now.

As Farmers Face Stress, New Hotline Offers Help

Jan 9, 2019
Credit Kealey Bultena file photo

Farmers and ranchers deal with high levels of stress, which often leads to anxiety and depression. That’s why Avera Behavioral Health is offering a new 24-hour Farmers’ Stress Hotline dedicated to serving the state’s farmers and ranchers who want help. 

For more than 40 years, Jim Woster visited farms and appraised livestock for the Sioux Falls Stockyards. In that time he got to know plenty of farmers and ranchers, and he understands the way the business can wear on someone’s mental health.

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Last week the Center for Disease Control and Prevention connected shortening life expectancies in the United States with increasing rates of death by drug overdose. Regional healthcare providers continue to develop innovative treatment methods for addiction in the face of the opioid crisis. It marks progress in a field that has only recently recognized addiction as a disease. 

As healthcare professionals bring more focus to mental health treatment, one effort is  to prevent suicide.  The best way to  know what works and what doesn’t:  data and research.

In 2015, Avera Health began a Zero Suicide initiative to collect patient data and track the effectiveness of depression screening and treatment. But there were a pieces of data that Avera couldn’t access...until now. A new partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health is filling in data gaps to  help  prevent future suicides.

Avera

In The Moment ... October 10. 2018 Show 439 Hour 1

Big news come from Avera Health this morning as they have received a 7.8 million dollar grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to build a 24 hour telemedicine behavioral health team as part of Avera eCare.

The team will provide care out of Avera eCare's virtual hub, both in and out of the hospital.

Jackie Hendry

A recent study shows 65% of the country’s non-metropolitan counties do not have a psychiatrist, and nearly half don’t have a psychologist. As mental health needs continue to rise, telemedicine may offer a solution for rural areas lacking access to those services. On Wednesday, the Helmsley Charitable Trust announced a grant to establish a first-of-its-kind behavioral health service through Avera’s eCARE center in Sioux Falls. 

Jackie Hendry

The rates for both suicide deaths and drug overdoses are highest in rural America, and those statistics continue to rise in South Dakota. On Thursday in Sioux Falls, Avera Health and the Department of Justice held a conference to help community members respond to the ongoing crisis. 

This is the fifth year that Avera and the DOJ have partnered for a conference on a particular topic. U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons says this year’s theme suggested itself.

South Dakota Breaks Record for Suicide Deaths in 2017

Jul 24, 2018
South Dakota Department of Health

In 2017, South Dakota saw the highest number of suicides in state history. This is the second time the state has broken its own suicide record in less than five years.

The state Department of Health reports 192 South Dakotans died by suicide in 2017. State epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton says the last time the state broke this record was in 2015 with 173 suicide deaths.

“In 2017 we did see about 80% of the suicides from male individuals," he says. "The highest rate of suicides did come among the population of 20 to 24 year-olds.”

Avera Health

Avera Health plans to build an Addiction Care Center on its new campus at 69th and Louise in Sioux Falls. Avera psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Stanley says an estimated 10%-15% of the general population struggles with some kind of chemical dependency.