South Dakota Urban Indian Health receives grant to train staff, raise awareness for 988 call line

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Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 5:42 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -South Dakota Urban Indian Health services is receiving a grant to bring more information about the 9-8-8 program to tribal communities.

Part of the three-year initiative will raise awareness of the statewide 988 suicide prevention hotline through a marketing campaign in Tribal Communities.

Preparations for incoming calls are also underway. In addition, a portion of the funding includes a training partnership with the helpline center.

SDUIH CEO Michaela Seiber says some South Dakotans need to know what help could be available by calling 988.

“So they know they can call it, when they can call it, and what’s appropriate,” Seiber said. “But the bigger component will be that we’re training 988 staff in how to be culturally appropriate or sensitive to Native callers when they call in.”

South Dakota Urban Indian health can also provide additional help after the call, offering behavioral health care and other resources for Native Americans. The organization has locations in Sioux Falls and Pierre.

A US Department of Health and Human Services branch awarded the grant.