September is Suicide Prevention Month in South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release)– Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention Month in South Dakota. This month is a time for raising awareness about suicide prevention and how we can all play a role. It is very important that everyone knows about, and has access to, the resources needed to discuss suicide prevention, and how to seek help if needed.

“Knowing how to support friends, family, and neighbors through challenging times is the first step towards saving a life,” said Department of Social Services (DSS) Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill.

In 2020, there were 185 suicides in South Dakota.

“Each suicide is preventable, and it’s important for everyone to know the warning signs so appropriate help can be given immediately,” Gill said. “There are some situations where no warning signs are present, however, most often a person does show some clues or signs that they are struggling.”

Warning Signs of Immediate Risk:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill self, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill self
  • Looking for ways to kill self by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary

If you notice these warning signs, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.  988 is available by call, text, or chat. When dialed from a 605-area code, 988 will be routed to the Helpline Center in South Dakota. For TTY users, use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.

Additional Warning Signs:

  • Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and society
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes

The easiest way to find out if someone is in crisis is to just ask. Even someone who appears happy on the outside could be experiencing a crisis.

If you or someone you know needs help with thoughts of suicide, please call, text, or chat 988 for free and confidential support available anytime day or night, seven days a week.