Thomas Otten

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.

Jackie Hendry

Suicide is the nation’s second leading cause of death for children. The CDC reports more than 20% of youth experience one or more mental health problems like depression. The Children’s Home Society and Avera Behavioral Health are partnering to publish a new children’s book to help kids—and parents—start conversations about mental wellness. 

In “A New Norm,” readers watch a young boy try to escape the storm cloud that follows him wherever he goes. He eventually focuses on a spark of hope that helps him see all of life’s storms will pass.

Avera has announced plans to build the Avera Addiction Care Center in Sioux Falls., part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Patient Care Network

Thomas Otten is Vice President of Avera Behavioral Health Services.