South Dakota Department of Health releases plan for suicide prevention

PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – The South Dakota Department of Health has released the state’s first comprehensive plan to reduce suicide deaths since 2013.

The plan focuses on helping people recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide. The plan will empower communities with information and resources. It will also focus on raising public awareness.

The plan was developed by the Departments of Health, Social Services, Tribal Relations, Education, and Agriculture in partnership with the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board. Nearly 300 South Dakotans also contributed to the development process.

“We know all too well that South Dakota is not immune from the devastation brought about by suicide,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Last year, I asked the Department of Health to lead a joint effort to develop a statewide suicide prevention plan, and I’m proud of the product they have developed. This plan addresses many aspects of suicide and includes strategies for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Every person has value, and help is available.”

Health officials say the state’s suicide rates rose by nearly 40 percent and is the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 34.

If you need help call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Services are available 24/7.

Additional information, resources, and support are available at sdsuicideprevention.org. If you believe someone is at risk for suicide, get help immediately. Don’t wait to call.