Officials planning on making suicide prevention programs available statewide

BROOKINGS, S.D. (WNAX) – South Dakota officials are planning on making suicide prevention programs available across the state. The suicide rate is high in rural areas and Native American communities. There’s also been stress in farm country because of low commodity prices and weather challenges.

Andrea (buh-yorn-uh-stad) Bjornestad is an SDSU Extension Mental Health Specialist. She says the state program is needed.

The state is also planning to establish suicide prevention programs in schools. Bjornestad says that’s needed there as well.

She says when it comes to suicide prevention, families need to pay closer attention to each other and watch for signs of depression.

Governor Kristi Noem’s administration plans to make suicide prevention part of its agriculture and tribal relations programs over the next five years. She has proposed an extra $210,000 for the program next year.