DSS to receive funds to help those dealing with mental health, substance use

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – The Department of Social Services (DSS) will receive $2 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to assist South Dakotans dealing with mental health issues and substance use disorders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 situation, access to mental health and substance use treatment options is becoming more and more critical,” said DSS Secretary Laurie Gill. “These funds will have a tremendous impact in connecting more people with the care they need.”

The grant funds will be allocated to currently contracted substance use and community mental health centers and will be used for:

  • Outpatient mental health and substance use disorder services for those impacted by COVID-19, including priority funding for outpatient services for healthcare workers;
  • Infrastructure to build and support telehealth capacity, including the purchase of equipment such as tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, and videoconferencing equipment and platforms as well as technical support;
  • Personal protective equipment to ensure continued face-to-face services, when possible;
  • Emergency services funding to support crisis services; and,
  • Recovery support services including linkages to nutrition/food services and individual support services; linkages to childcare, vocational, and educational services; and linkages to housing and transportation services.

“People are under a tremendous amount of stress which can further complicate mental health and substance use disorder issues,” Gill said. “The Department of Social Services is extremely appreciative of these new grant funds and will deploy them as quickly as possible to help South Dakotans who may be struggling. Individuals should feel reassured that they can reach out and ask for help and not have to worry about additional financial burden.”

To find help in your area, visit dss.sd.gov and click on the Behavioral Health tab or go to FindTreatment.gov.

If a friend, family member or you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions such as sadness, depression or anxiety, please reach out to the Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255) or text “Hello” to 741741. For those dealing with substance use issues, call 1.800.920.4343 or text “ONMETH” to 898211 for immediate assistance.