Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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September 4, 2015

Gov. Dennis Daugaard declares Sept. 7-13 as Suicide Prevention Week

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed Sept. 7 – 13 as Suicide Prevention Week in South Dakota. Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social and ethnic boundaries, and is now the tenth leading cause of all deaths in the United States and the ninth leading cause of all deaths in the state of South Dakota.

“The goal is to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and encourage those who have mental health concerns to seek help,” said Gib Sudbeck, program manager for the Department of Social Services’ Prevention Program. “Suicide is a preventable cause of premature death and needs to be addressed.”

Suicides may be prevented when suicidal behaviors are detected early and individuals are referred to services and supports. Help can be obtained in South Dakota communities for the assessment and treatment of suicidal behaviors and their underlying causes. If you believe there is a suicide risk, contact a professional immediately. Call the suicide crisis hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a family physician, a psychiatrist, a medical emergency room or a community mental health center in your area. 

For more information about suicide prevention in South Dakota or the South Dakota Strategy for Suicide Prevention log onto

For more information about behavioral health services in your area, contact the Department of Social Services’ Division of Behavioral Health at 605-773-3123 or log on to