National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline -988-to service SD starting Saturday

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 4:26 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - On July 16, 2022, South Dakota will join the rest of the United States using the three-digit helpline number-988.

In South Dakota, for people ages 10–34 suicide is a leading cause of death, and in 2020, the state had 84 drug-related deaths.

The current helpline phone number is 211 and will remain a resource for basic needs, and government and social service resources in South Dakota.

After July 16, 988 will be an additional option to call (serving multiple languages), text, or chat (English only) that connects people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where compassionate, accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. In South Dakota, the 988 Lifeline will be answered by the Helpline Center, according to their press release.

Call 988 for any emotional distress or on behalf of a suicidal loved one

After July 16, people can use 988 if they are having thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. If you are currently facing challenges of this nature, call 211 to reach the Helpline Center.

Since the Helpline Center began answering the Lifeline in 2005, it has served as an invaluable resource, helping thousands of people overcome suicidal crises or mental health-related distress every day.

988 in South Dakota
  • 988 will be answered by the Helpline Center and staffed by individuals with advanced degrees and experience in behavioral health.
  • 988 in South Dakota is a partnership between SD Department of Social Services, Division of Behavioral Health, and Helpline Center. DSS has provided the planning support, development of the 988 plan, and initial funding.
  • 988 Implementation Plan for South Dakota was finalized in January 2022 with the Behavioral Health Crisis Response Stakeholder Coalition. The Stakeholder group has key members from behavioral health crisis response and prevention services across the state.
  • Ramp-up and first-year funding needs (March 2022 – June 2023) will be provided using currently available one-time crisis funds and a SAMHSA Grant. Future funding options are being reviewed based on findings from an independent consultant report contracted to review the funding needs of 988.
  • 988 will have the ability to support follow-up calls to callers and can include follow-up calls from mobile crisis team referrals, discharges from inpatient units, or other programs to support care coordination.
  • 988 will Partner with 911 Public Safety Access Points to work together on seamlessly transferring calls to each other.
More about the 988 helpline

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in co-sponsorship with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) have worked with partners across several critical industries to create a holistic view of readiness for the implementation of 988 for states, territories, tribes, crisis contact centers, public safety answering points (PSAPs) and behavioral health providers. Through these collaborative efforts, 988 Implementation Guidance Playbooks were created for these critical groups to support the implementation of 988.

For additional information please visit //SDSuicidePrevention.Org/988.

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