Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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June 10, 2011

Lewis & Clark Behavioral Health is Available to
Help Local Residents Affected by the Flood
Mental health professionals will provide counseling

PIERRE, S.D. – Lewis & Clark Behavioral Health, with offices located in Yankton, Vermillion, and Lake Andes, is available to provide assistance to local residents affected by the flooding in Charles Mix, Bon Homme, Yankton, Clay, and Union counties.  The Disaster Mental Health Institute at the University of South Dakota is collaborating in these efforts.

Many residents are facing possible significant losses of property, and many more members of the community have shared their sense of loss and the shock that resulted from this event.

Below are some reactions common to people who experience traumatic stress. Although these thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical reactions can be very upsetting, it is important to remember they are common reactions to an extraordinary and very stressful situation. The symptoms are signs of an overwhelming situation, not signs of personal weakness.

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Recurring dreams or nightmares about the event and its aftermath
  • Reconstructing in your mind the events surrounding the event itself or the damage, in an effort to make it come out differently
  • Repeated thoughts or memories that are difficult to stop
  • Feeling frightened or anxious in response to loud sounds or particular smells
  • Feeling bursts of anger or intense irritability
  • Feeling depressed or down much of the time
  • Feeling numb, withdrawn or disconnected
  • Feeling a lack of involvement or enjoyment in everyday activities
  • Feeling a sense of emptiness or hopelessness about the future


  • Being overprotective of your family’s and your own safety
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Becoming very alert at time and startling easily
  • Having problems getting to sleep or staying asleep
  • Avoiding activities that remind you of the event itself or the damage; avoiding places or people that bring back memories
  • Having increased conflict with family members
  • Keeping excessively busy to avoid thinking about the event and what has happened to you
  • Being tearful or crying for no apparent reason


  • Allow yourself to feel sadness and grief over what has happened
  • Talk to others about how you are feeling
  • Try to keep in place family routines such as regular meal times
  • Try to cope with your stress without increasing your use of alcohol and drugs
  • Continue to eat well, get enough rest and take some time for yourself
  • Maintain connections with your community friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, or church members

When to Seek Support from a Mental Health Professional

  • When disturbing behaviors or emotions last more than six to eight weeks;
  • When a person’s behaviors or emotions make it difficult to function normally (including functioning at work, in the family or at school); or
  • Any time an individual feels unstable or concerned about his or her behaviors or emotions.

For more information:

  • Lewis & Clark Behavioral Health Services, Inc.    
    1028 Walnut Street, Yankton, SD 57078
    Phone: (605) 665-4606 or Toll Free: 1-800-765-3382
  • Disaster Mental Health Institute
    University of South Dakota–SDU114, 414 East Clark Street
    Vermillion, SD 57069-2390
    Phone: (605) 677-5353